My name is Molly Hass and I am an Undergraduate student here at NC State studying Food Science and Agricultural Resource Management. As a Warren Leadership Fellow I had the opportunity to intern this summer with two different programs at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems: FoodCon 2016 and the Agroecology Farm. I am so excited that NCSU is hosting FoodCon this year, and that I have had the opportunity to be involved with it!
One of the coolest things about working these two internships was that I was helping to organize a conference, while at the same time growing the food at the Agroecology to be used at FoodCon. That’s right! Currently our own Agroecology farm is growing food that will be served to over 200 attendees of FoodCon 2016. The conference is focused on the business of sustainable food, and a part of our mission is to serve as much local, sustainably grown food as possible. And what could be more local than right on campus!
If you have never heard of the Agroecology farm, it is a great representation of the Land Grant Mission. This plot of land is close to the Historic Yates Mill Pond, right down the road from main campus. This farm was created for students and community to learn about sustainable agriculture in a hands-on way. In 2013, an exciting partnership between the farm and University Dining was formed, where the farm actually provides produce for the dining halls.
This summer I worked with the farm manager Allison Reeves to seed and plant some of the crops that will be served at FoodCon 2016. The food for the meals at the conference will be grown at the farm and prepared by NCSU Dining. The exciting menu includes such crops as: Red Cabbage, Green Savoy Cabbage, Hiogga beets, Nantes carrots, red Russian kale, red kitten spinach, red mustard, Georgia collards, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, sugar pumpkins. It’s going to be a delicious menu!
I recently visited the farm to get up to an update on how things are going since I finished my internship. The crops are looking great and they are a lot bigger than the last time I saw them! Allison commented that currently “We are in the midst of transitioning from summer to fall plantings. FoodCon will showcase some of the great fall greens and root storage crops. University Dining has been a great partner in bringing local food, grown by students, to the NCSU campus”.
Check out this video which does a great job at explaining the relationship between NCSU Dining Services and The Agroecology Farm and the sustainability initiative that they have adopted:
I hope to keep you updated with pictures of the crops as they grow, and any new information about this exciting relationship. I will leave you with a picture of the farm, where you can see the rows of baby greens that we will be eating at FoodCon on November 11th !