New Local Foods on Campus

This semester, Unity College’s Dining Services are putting some new local foods on their students’ plates. Heiwa Tofu and Northern Girl, LLC have now come to be a part of the local food family offered in the Unity College cafeteria.

The tofu comes from nearby Lincolnville, Maine, where a family of four presses their own tofu from soy grown in Pittston and Skowhegan, Maine. The protein-packed food is featured in most vegan dishes served in the cafeteria, said Lorey Duprey, Manager of the Wyman Dining Commons. In addition to being local, Duprey commented on the tofu’s superior quality, being “more firm and easier to work with” than tofu they have worked with in the past.

Located in Aroostook county of Maine, Northern Girl, LNothern Girl, LLCLC, is run by a second generation of farmers that have taken on their family farm to create a distributor for cold-weather-hardy vegetables. Starting with potatoes, they expanded to include carrots, beets, cold-resistant broccoli, and more. These vegetables, distributed by the Crown of Maine Organic Cooperative, expand the number of local vegetable options available to us in the winter, says Duprey. At Wyman Dining Commons, these vegetables are often featured as the ‘Veggie of the Day’ on Thursdays of each week. This week, they’ve got an order of beets coming in. Their potatoes make it into the skillet most days at breakfast, too.

Students have been eating these great foods in the cafeteria all semester!  “We are always looking for new ways to incorporate local foods” into the dining commons’ repertoire, Duprey reminded me. Check out last year’s  local foods map, for more on foods from the region.

Hunters & Huggers Dinner

This Wednesday, September 28th, there will be a supping extravaganza at Unity College’s Wyman Commons. From 4:30 to 6:00 PM, please come join us for the annual Hunters & Huggers Dinner. In its fifth year, the Hunters & Huggers Dinner increases the amount of local food served in our cafeteria from around 25% (a pretty impressive annual average) to about 100% for this meal!

Most of the food will be provided by Crown O’ Maine Organic Co-operative in Vassalboro. They have been serving Maine’s local food community since 1995 as a distributor for farmers, fishermen (fisherpeople!), and artisans in an effort to strengthen our community by improving access to local foods. I would be remiss not to share their amazing vision statement with you (click link).

There will also be venison provided by the family who runs Applegate Deer Farm in West Newfield. This is a red deer farm where they produce their own biodiesel and also give tours of their farm and production plant to the public.

If those tasty informational appetizers didn’t convince you, here’s the menu for the evening:

  • The line formed early at last year's Hunters & Huggers Dinner.

    Tomato Bruschetta

  • Assorted Maine Cheeses
  • Roast of Venison
  • Local Beef Chili
  • Lobster Newburg
  • Vegetarian Beet Feta Stackers
  • Vegan Stackers
  • Roasted Red New Potatoes with Smokey Paprika
  • Ginger Honey Glazed Carrots
  • Local Breads
  • Chocolate Zucchini Cake
  • Pound cake w/ Rhubarb sauce
  • Maple Creams

Come support local agriculture. Come support our sustainability efforts. Come build community. You know how important it is. Let’s not waste precious salivating time over reiterating the endless laundry list of mis-steps that have led us to this strange and unstable place in time. Come eat with some freaky hunters or stinky huggers (whichever you’re not, I guess). Just plain old come to have a great meal with great friends.

Creator of this wonderful event, Lorey Duprey, our Assistant Dining Services Manager, hopes to share the idea that local food production, distribution, and consumption will invigorate and strengthen our community. Bangor Daily News quotes her as saying:

…I developed an appreciation for the hard work, commitment, and love that goes into farming.

How lovely! This event is open to the public for $8 a person. So repost this blog to your friendface and your jitters accounts. Tell everyone you know to come and nourish themselves, their communities…our community! See you there, friends.

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