Sharpen your shovel…

…and spruce up your spreadsheet.  With the growing season on its way, garden planning is underway!  At Unity that means more than just consulting last year’s crop map to plan for a nice rotation.  It’s a family affair.

Dining Services leadership and Sustainability Office staffers put their heads together this week to determine a strategy for increasing the use of campus-grown crops in Dining Services meals.  Aside from determining the perfect greens for blanching and freezing (AND student taste), picking potato varieties to cultivate, and getting guidance on a ton of other agricultural choices- we’re embarking on a review of purchasing to identify areas where we can increase local buying.  We are already serious about supporting regional businesses and growers, but we’re always looking for ways to bump up local buying.

What does that work look like?  Just yesterday work study staff-person Ryan Green was poring over a big pile of invoices and calculating interesting figures, such as Unity College’s annual broccoli consumption and carrot purchasing frequency.  Thanks, Ryan!  One thought is, if we can help our Dining Services department save resources with on-campus supplementary crops, perhaps there will be some wiggle room to purchase local products that tend to be slightly more expensive.  It’s a working theory, but we’re excited to work on it more with students, Dining folks, and garden staff as we head into the warmer months.


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