Trent Market Garden
The Trent Market Garden project began in late 2014 and continues today in its early planning stages. Below are the mission statement and vision for the future and potential of this initiative.
The Trent Market Garden is an experiential learning environment that is operated
by and for the university community. Located on Trent’s Experimental Farm, it is a
student-run social enterprise that utilizes holistic, and agro-ecological practices. It
allows students, staff, and community members to reduce their ecological impact, by
integrating on-campus grown produce into the campus cafeterias. Governed by the principles of food sovereignty, the Trent Market Garden strives to be a leader in sustainability, while fostering community development, and operating with economic self-sufficiency. By bringing together members of our community through the fundamentality of life-food, the Trent Market Garden is helping Trent to grow.
The Trent Market Garden is a thriving food production hub for the campus and
surrounding community. It supplies to the campus cafeteria as well as local businesses
in increasing amounts. In collaboration with Trent University, and the food service
provider Chartwells, it provides employment opportunities, creating an economically
viable food production system. This inclusive space for students, faculty, and
community helps to grow not only food, but also research opportunities, ecological
knowledge, environment stewardship, and social networks allowing our community to
Want to get involved with the Trent Market Garden? Email Jonathan Duffy at email@example.com
The Trent Market Garden planning committee meets Fridays at 2pm in Bata 401 (subject to change, email firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet @SAFSsociety or contact Jon Duffy for updated meeting times)
So what's this Sustainability Committee all about?
Food on campus is a really important issue for students, and one that relates to health, political participation, culture, environment, education, social interactions - ok, well, everything! Everyone Eats.
Food is also a subject that we can engage with creatively (i.e. hopefully not have too many meetings about, but focus our energy on activities that will generate conversation, awareness, and inspire changes).
With our new food service provider (Chartwells) and a new contract that has significant sustainability and student engagement goals built into it, students now have the opportunity to work in a collaborative way with Chartwells to make real forward movement, and create positive changes to the campus food system.
What might those changes be? Many of you may be familiar with the TCSA report "A
Raw Deal", an analysis of student opinion regarding food services (data collected in 2011) and recommendations for improvements. (If you are not, you can look it up).
These recommendations were one source that informed the development of a new food services contract. There are now a number of concrete sustainability goals built into the contract, and our task is in part, to apply pressure to ensure their implementation, and monitor the results.
What exactly do we mean by "Sustainability" anyway?
That's a really good question. As we all know, the term is ambiguous. In this context, we are primarily talking about environmental sustainability (although this is of course embedded in socio-economic sustainability).
The four main areas our committee will be working on are:
1) Local food procurement
2) Waste reduction/diversion
3) Energy reduction
4) Wellness Education
Structure of the Committee:
Anisah Madden's role as the coordinator of this committee (a paid position under Student Affairs TWSP) is to coordinate a bi-monthly meeting of representatives from a variety of student groups, to do the following:
a) examine the sustainability goals laid out in Chartwells' contract,
b) evaluate how they are being implemented,
c) strategise to engage students with these issues,
d) provide practical feedback to Chartwells, and
e) monitor Chartwells' implementation of the contract deliverables and our feedback
How we decide to engage with these tasks will be up to us. Anisah will then bring feedback in the form of a summary report to the monthly Trent Food Services Advisory Committee Meeting.
Who is going to sit on the Sustainability Committee?
In order to engage as many students as possible, our committee will be made up of student
representatives from Sustainable Trent, OPIRG, KWIC, SAFS Society, TUNA, Meal Exchange, the TCSA, College Cabinets, Residence Life Co-ordinators, the GSA, and the Trent Sustainability Office, possibly a faculty member, (any suggestions on who to invite are welcome), as well as Chartwells' Marketing and Sustainability Manager.
Want to get involved? Email Anisah Madden at email@example.com
The SAFS program was allocated 33 acres of land behind the DNA building by Trent for an “Experimental Farm” in 2014. The land has been designated primarily for research purposes and there is a committee working on short and long term visions for its operations. This summer the first projects included 1/3rd of an acre of vegetables as part of a organic amendments research project, 1 acre of organic Quinoa, and a research project on reducing inputs in common Ontario grain rotations. Furthermore, Whitney Lake, a 4th year student at Trent initiated the Trent Apiary, installing and managing two honeybee hives on the “Experimental Farm” and actively mentored students throughout the fall in the art of beekeeping.
Plans for future projects at the “Experimental Farm” include undergraduate and graduate research and experiential learning opportunities, demonstration projects in sustainable agriculture models, and ideas to scale up food production on campus. The idea to increase campus food production and link it to campus food services is being supported by Chartwells as part of Compass Group’s cross-Canada Key Focus Initiative Project. The KFI means that the new food services provider is committed to supporting Trent in creating an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable food production enterprise on campus by purchasing the student grown produce for use in campus meals.
Chartwells has also committed to providing capital for investment in a campus greenhouse the planning of which is only just beginning.
These projects show potential for real, forthcoming and positive change in relation to the Trent Food System; creating awareness, community engagement and corporate responsibility around broader food and agriculture concerns.
If you'd like to get involved with this project please contact Jon Duffy at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Trent bees are still active with the nice days we have been having, but cold weather is on the way.
I was up visiting the hives on Saturday, placed some straw against the north side and a wind break to the west to help them stay warm. Stay tuned to Trent Radio on Monday from 4-5 to hear all about bees and pollination! 92.7FM.
But winter doesn’t mean our bee-keeping work is over, rather it is just getting started.
Now we need to organize our club, if you are a great organizer, we want you!
We also need to plan for the spring, and start building & painting new boxes. It is also the time we order our “nuks” and queens for 2015!
Great time for you to let your family know that a great gift idea would be a bee-keeper “starter kit” J It is the gift that keeps giving! email@example.com