UMass Dining's award winning food truck BabyBerk is offering free meals to people ages 18 & under from June 25th, 2018 until August 10th, 2018. The truck will be serving meals Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:30am - 3:30pm with stops at multiple locations around Amherst each day. They are hoping to feed 560 people each day that they are in operation! No ID is necessary and no registration is required.
The date/time/location for each stop is below:
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 10:30am-3:00pm from June 25th - August 10th (excluding Wednesday, July 4th)
10:30 – 10:45 a.m., Rolling Green Apartments, 1 Rolling Green Drive
11:00 – 11:20 a.m., Colonial Village Apartments, 81 Belchertown Road
11:40 – 11:50 p.m., Butternut Farms Apartments, 12 Longmeadow Drive
12:10-12:30 p.m., South Point Apartments, 266 E. Hadley Street
1:00 – 1:30 p.m., Village Park Apartments, 497 E. Pleasant Street
1:55 – 2:05 p.m., Olympia Oaks, 85 Olympia Drive
2:20 – 2:45 p.m., North Village Apartments, 990 N. Pleasant Street
3:10 – 3:30 p.m., Mill River Recreation Area, 95 Montague Road
Download a copy of the scheduled routes here:
That's a Wrap!Read Now
It’s hard to believe that the 2017-2018 academic year is almost over! Let’s take a moment to look back on what UMass Dining Sustainability did over the past two semesters.
UMass Student Farmers Markets
The UMass Student Farmers Markets took place from September to November and during the month of April, providing an opportunity to support local artists, farmers, musicians, and vendors. The UMass Student Farm will continue to sell their CSA shares at the fall market starting again in September 2018.
Farm to Campus Summit
In February over 35 individuals from 25 colleges and universities throughout New England came together for the Farm to Campus Summit hosted by UMass Dining to discuss food service sustainability. Attendees participated in collective and small group discussions to exchange strategies to measure, report, and increase utilization of local food and reduce waste. Andy Kendall of the Henry P. Kendall Foundation emphasized how collective efforts such as those reached during the Farm to Campus Summit are integral to facilitate systematic change that will have positive impacts on regional farmers and overall food production in New England.
New Addition to our Gardens: Bees!
Earth Day Festivities
On this year's Earth Day, students representing UMass Permaculture offered seed bomb making at the Amherst Sustainability Festival and sold zines made by students in the permaculture practicum course at Easthampton's Pioneer Valley Zine Fest. On campus, the Earth Day Farmers' Market showcased the incredible variety of sustainability initiatives going on at UMass, ranging from Food Recovery Network to Rack City Thrift.
A huge thank you to all of the growers, distributors, educators, and innovators who make it possible to foster a campus community that is conscious of its impact and constantly striving to be a leader in food system sustainability. We couldn't do it without you!
Photo credit: Keith Toffling
What Is a CSA?Read Now
CSA, short for Community Supported Agriculture, is a model used by many farmers to form a partnership between themselves and members of their community. This partnership is created when a customer buys a CSA membership, which then allows them to receive a certain amount of food from that farm each week in the form of a farm share. CSAs benefit both parties involved, as the membership provides up-front financial assistance to the farmer and guarantees the customer food from that farm.
While many people often think of farm shares as consisting solely of fruits and vegetables, they can take all different forms, with products like dairy, meat, grains and flowers. CSAs are often seasonal, as the items available each week are those that are ready to be harvested at that time of year. In New England, summer and fall farm shares are common, but winter shares – often featuring root vegetables, apples, cheese, honey, bread, and other products – are available as well.
According to Just Roots, a non-profit organization devoted to advocating for food justice and sustainable agriculture, the general framework of a CSA was first established in the early 1900s by a group of Japanese women who were concerned about the use of pesticides on imported and processed foods. Their system, called a “teikei,” translates literally to “partnership” or “cooperation.” More philosophically, and perhaps more appropriately, however, “teikei” translates to “food with the farmer’s face,” as CSAs provide members with the opportunity to get to know where – and whom – their food is coming from.
At a similar time as this Japanese model was being developed, various European countries were implementing similar cooperative systems inspired by a more holistic approach to growing food. It was only in 1984 that Jan Vander Tuin, a Swiss farmer who co-founded a CSA project named Topanimbur, located near Zurich, brought the concept to North America. Tuin presented the idea to Robyn Van En at Indian Line Farm in South Egremont, Massachusetts, marking the first CSA in the USA. Within just four years of its inception, Indian Line Farm’s CSA membership expanded from 30 to 150 members. Today, there are over 1,000 different CSAs located all across the country feeding roughly 150,000 individuals.
Unlike conventional food systems where food is transported from producer to processor to distributor to retailer, and finally to the consumer, CSAs take out all of these “middle-men” and establish a face-to-face connection between the farmer and the customer. At this point in time, many of us have become so far removed from where our food is coming from that we often forget just how much time, energy, and care goes into it. By returning to a system in which we directly support the farmers that grow our food, we can support the individuals whose operations form the backbone of our local economy while developing a deeper appreciation for the food that nourishes us.
There are countless farms that offer CSA shares in the Valley. For help choosing the CSA that would work best for you, check out CISA's (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture) Guide to Choosing a CSA.
If you are part of the UMass campus community, consider signing up for the UMass Student Farming Enterprise's CSA program. Commit to a farm share by May 1st and receive a $25 discount! Student Farm CSA pick up is each Friday from 12-4 in the Fall semester at the UMass Student Farmers' Market, hosted by UMass Permaculture and the Student Farm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
For over 400 years, New England has been a key contributor to the regional, national, and global seafood market. Advances in technology, continued population growth, and rapid globalization, however, have made it increasingly challenging to balance demand with ecological sustainability.
As a consumer, sometimes the options presented to us are overwhelming and laced with misinformation. Amanda Davis, the founder and director of Our Wicked Fish, Inc., is here to change the way that we think about seafood. With the goal of educating the public on where the fish that we buy and eat come from, the Deerfield, MA-based nonprofit “encourages consumers and restaurants to reconnect with New England's local seafood through research, outreach, and social media,” as Davis explains.
While working at 30 Boltwood, Davis was introduced to new varieties of locally-caught fish, including redfish, tautog, and striped bass. “These fish were beautiful, delicious, and completely unknown to me!” Davis says. “I quickly became fascinated by local fish as well as customers' reaction to local fish on the menu. Most people, including myself, have never been properly introduced to most of New England's fish. I wanted to know why.”
Davis’s goal is to get more people to experience the same “scrumptious, locally-caught fish” that led her to start Our Wicked Fish in 2015. According to Davis, one of the biggest factors preventing the widespread consumption of sustainable seafood is a lack of familiarity with available products. Species such as monkfish, hake, cusk, skate, and dogfish are found in abundance in New England waters, but these are not commonly-recognized names; as a result, they are rarely found in grocery stores or on restaurant menus.
“It seems like most of New England, especially we younger generations, have never been properly introduced to their local fish, therefore we do not know how to demand it,” says Davis, explaining that “weak demand leads to weak prices for fishermen,” and “fishermen just can't afford to sell lesser known fish species, even if they make up most of their catch.” Low prices could drive fishermen to seek out varieties that are in high demand and yield higher market prices, which are recovering from historical periods of overfishing. “If you want to support New England's fishery,” Davis suggests, “then eat local and in-season fish, especially the underloved species.”
Just like fruits and vegetables, fish are defined by their seasonality and locality. A wide range of species can be caught off the coast of New England at different times of the year, ensuring tasty local options during every season. By supporting the region’s fisheries, we as consumers are supporting sustainable practices as well as a local economy – and getting to eat a delicious array of seafood at the same time.
“Our seafood system will be more economically sustainable and environmentally sustainable when we diversify our consumption and create a stronger and more stable demand for lesser known species,” says Davis. “I know we can do it. I know we can sustain fishermen, fish populations, and our love for seafood all at the same time.”
Thank you so much to Amanda Davis for being a leader in the movement to support local,
seasonal, and sustainable seafood from New England's fisheries!
Looking for a job this summer? Join our wonderful, dedicated team of permies and spend your summer days in the permaculture gardens! To apply for this 15/hr per week position, please download our position description and application here and email your completed application to email@example.com by Friday, April 6th.
Members of the Summer Crew work under the Sustainability Coordinator of Campus Gardens and Student Garden Coordinators to support the planning and upkeep of the UMass Permaculture gardens and educate garden visitors. For this role, members of the Summer Crew will develop and maintain our on-campus permaculture sites at Franklin, Berkshire, Hillside, Worcester, and Hampshire. Daily responsibilities may include planting, watering, weeding, harvesting, working with volunteers, and leading tours. Crew members will also assist in longer-term projects, such as repairing raised beds, installing mushroom production systems, plant design, and other tasks as needed. Throughout this process, members of the Summer Crew learn about permaculture design, sustainable agriculture techniques, plant identification, and volunteer leadership.
If you are interested in applying to the UMass Permaculture Summer Crew position, please submit your completed application to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, April 6th.
We look forward to reviewing your applications! Feel free to reach out to Hannah Logan (email@example.com) with any questions you have!
We are excited to announce that the UMass Amherst Permaculture Initiative is seeking a highly passionate, thoughtful and skilled individual who embodies holistic sustainability and shows a demonstrated commitment to social justice to fill the Sustainability Coordinator of Campus Gardens position. If you are experienced in regenerative agriculture, enjoy working with diverse groups, and are passionate about facilitating transformational learning, apply today!
The Position: The Sustainability Coordinator of Campus Gardens will oversee the educational programming, community outreach, care and operation of current gardens, and development of new gardens when space is available for the UMass Amherst Permaculture Initiative. In doing so, the Sustainability Coordinator of Campus Gardens provides students, faculty, staff and community members with unique opportunities to make meaningful connections to their food, the earth, and each other. The ideal candidate for this exciting and challenging position would possess extensive knowledge and experience in both production and regenerative agriculture, excellent problem solving skills, and the ability to develop successful programming in an academic setting.
Duties and Responsibilities include:
Ideal start date is April 2018. Position is open until filled.
Apply online here! For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to the TeamRead Now
Chris Young is currently the Sustainable Food Systems Purchasing Coordinator for UMass Dining. In this role, he is responsible for handling the data and metrics reports for all of the local food purchases that are made. UMass currently sources products and ingredients from over 100 small farms and businesses, many of which are located under 20 miles from campus.
Due to its immense purchasing power and the size of its student body, the University of Massachusetts has an incredible opportunity to continue to set the bar higher in terms of environmental sustainability. When asked why he is passionate about food in particular, Chris explains, “I believe a crucial step towards a sustainable economy is through our food system, the impact alone speaks for itself.”
Phoebe is particularly interested in social justice, alternative economic systems, and environmental sustainability – and how we can bridge the gaps that exist between these three concepts. After all, as writer, farmer, and activist Wendell Berry reminds us, “The Earth is what we all have in common.” In the future, Phoebe hopes to work internationally as an environmental policy advocate and community-based food sustainability educator.
In Phoebe’s spare time, she loves to cook, spend time outdoors, and play the guitar, ukulele, and piano. On campus, she is a leader for both the UMass Outing Club and Food Recovery Network, and as part of her involvement in the International Scholars Program, Phoebe will be studying abroad in Chiang Mai, Thailand, next fall.
Brrrr… winter is here, and so are all of the holidays that go along with it! If you haven’t started thinking about the food you’ll be eating during your celebrations, UMass Fresh has you covered. Just like the Thanksgiving meal from November, this month’s holiday meal will be starring a delicious assortment of local foods from the Pioneer Valley and greater New England region. All menu items come pre-cooked and are filled with festive, sustainable ingredients.
December’s UMass Fresh Holiday Dinner will include an all-natural, humanely-raised ham from California’s Niman Ranch. For the non-meat eaters at the table, the menu also features a vegetarian “Wellington” topped with mushroom jus and stuffed with vegetables from Hadley’s Czajkowski Farm. Each meal is intended to feed 6-8 people.
For just $99.95 (plus tax), the full meal includes:
• Niman Ranch All Natural Ham with Cold Spring Orchard Cider Glaze
• Czajkowski Farm Vegetable “Wellington” with Mushroom Jus
• Little Leaf Farms Mixed Green Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette with Warm Colors Apiary Honey Roasted Beets, Shaved Fennel, and Red Onions
• Szawlowski Farm Slow-Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
• Hadley-Grown Roasted Butternut Puree with Spiced Walnuts
• Pioneer Valley Sweet Potato Gratin with North Hadley Sugar Shack Maple Syrup
• Pioneer Valley Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Bacon Lardons
• Cranberry Grain Bread Loaf
• Gingerbread Roulade & Almond Cookies
Support local farms and businesses while enjoying a delicious holiday meal cooked by the award-winning chefs of UMass Dining. Place your order online at http://umassdining.com/holiday by Tuesday, December 19th at 8:00 PM and let the festivities begin!
Orders will be available for pickup at the Campus Center’s Harvest Market on:
• Friday 12/22 from 12pm – 5pm
• Saturday 12/23 from 12pm – 5pm
• Sunday 12/24 from 12pm – 5pm
In March, UMass Dining attended the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) Culinary Challenge, which is a competition between five regions held in Nashville, Tennessee. Our very own Chef Robert Bankert competed at the annual competition and won first place and a gold medal!
According to Chef Bob, “building relationships with farmers is the most important part of sourcing local foods.” Because of the tremendous buying power of an institution like UMass, large changes can be made to the food system through local sourcing initiatives over time. “However, tremendous amounts of purchasing, if handled poorly, can really affect farmers if there is not an open line of communication and relationship there,” Chef Bob clarified.
UMass Dining has a goal for all of the Dining Commons to feature all local lettuce and greens on the salad bar all year long, and has already committed to sourcing local arugula, romaine, and mesclun. Queen's Greens is playing an integral part in reaching this goal by supplying local greens to UMass Dining in colder months using greenhouses to extend their growing season.
“I just love food and flavors and I like to teach people how to cook. Food is satisfying in a lot of different ways and brings people together.”
- Chef Bob, UMass Dining
Thanks so much Chef Bob for taking the time for this interview and for all of your hard work to make UMass Dining more sustainable!
It’s almost that time of year again! For those of you who have not yet begun thinking about Thanksgiving, fear not – UMass Fresh is here to save turkey day! For the second year, UMass Fresh will be selling full holiday meals available for pickup on or before Thanksgiving. Each meal is intended to feed 6-8 people and is filled with a variety of locally-sourced ingredients.
The full menu includes:
• Misty Knoll Vermont Roast Turkey With Old Fashioned Turkey Gravy
• Pioneer Valley Grown Vegetarian Butternut Squash Lasagna With Sage Cream
• Happy Valley Organic Herbed Bread Dressing
• Local Chive Mashed Potatoes
• North Hadley Sugar Shack Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes With Spiced Walnuts
• Joe Czajkowski Shredded Brussel Sprout Tops
• Homemade Cinnamon Orange Cape Cod Cranberry Sauce
• UMass Bakery Local Cranberry Grain Bread
• UMass Bakery Local Apple Pie
Other items, including Cold Spring Orchard apple cider and Mapleline Farm eggnog, will be available for purchase at the pickup location.
Make sure to place your order at http://umassdining.com/thanksgiving by Friday, November 17th at 4:00 PM to take advantage of this opportunity to eat a delicious holiday meal while supporting local farms and businesses.
Orders will be available for pickup at the Campus Center’s Harvest Market on:
• Wednesday, November 22nd from 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM
• Thursday, November 23rd from 8:00 AM until 7:00 PM
Entries are submitted by project staff and UMass students.