Food Day spices up the nation

Food Day spices up the nation

By Dayna Juchmes

contributing writer

[email protected]

In a tucked away area of campus, the aromas of organic apple cider filled the air while students, faculty and community members feasted on free sustainably-sourced chili and cornbread. Live music was performed by students Sam Adams and Justin Mitchell.

On Oct. 24, over 330 colleges nationwide, including Eastern, celebrated National Food Day. The event was sponsored by Real Food Challenge and the Center of Science for the Public Interest. Those attending took part in the experience by planting garlic, donated from Project Hope, Don’s Greenhouse and NW Seed and Pet, or testing their palate with a variety of raw vegetables including little baby beets.

The event took place behind the Red Barn where Eastern’s organic garden delivers in bountiful quantities. This year, workers harvested over 200 pounds of produce which was sold at the Fresh Market on campus, EWU Dining Services Administrative Assistant for Sustainability Initiative, Kelsey Crane said.

Senior Tristan Fox was helping out at the event by passing out garlic buds to potential planters. Fox said he enjoys being a part of the Fresh Market team and being able to provide organic produce to other students.

Crane, along with EWU alumni Nathan Calene, were the driving force of the production and growth of a sustainable garden on campus three years ago.

“The idea is to bridge indoor and outdoor learning. We spend so much time inside with technology that we don’t spend enough time with each other outside interacting with nature,” said Crane.

EWU Sustainability Project is also part of an outreach program connecting with local elementary schools to teach children about holistic and healthy eating over a six-week period with a hopeful end goal of those schools starting a garden of their own food.

Senior Olivia Fox, elementary education major, said she became involved with the Fresh Market and Food Day events after her brother Nathan Calene suggested it. She said her favorite part about being able to help out at these events is the opportunity to go to the schools to pass her knowledge down to the kids about healthy eating choices.

Crane believes that the best forum for progressive change in our society is to grow gardens on school campuses to raise awareness to what exactly we are putting into our body. Crane’s academic background includes a bachelors of arts in interdisciplinary studies and communication, with a master’s in urban and regional planning and environmental sustainability.

“The goal here really is to get as many students, faculty and staff from an interdisciplinary array together as a community, working together to build up the local food economy,” said Crane. “It doesn’t sound very radical, but one of the most revolutionary things a person can do is plant a fruit tree.”

To learn how to become involved, or if you wish to learn more about the Sustainability Initiative, visit the website