‘Guilford Green Blog’
We’ve been busy the last couple of weeks here at Guilford Dining. First there was Feed the Difference, then Food Week, which finished with our fall Meadow Fed Dinner. Everything was a shining success, and judging by the turnout, you guys really enjoyed yourselves. I thought it might be nice to take just a minute to enjoy some pictures from all these great events in the last couple of weeks.
Here we go, enjoy!
|Fall MeadowFed 12|
|GC Food Week 12|
|Feed The Difference 2012 GC|
What’s local right now?
Starting this week we’re making some big changes in our local purchasing. From now on all of our chicken and eggs, and one of our salad greens will be local EVERY DAY!
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Here at Guilford Dining we think it doesn’t matter which came first as long as both are good clean local food. All of our eggs come from the Carolina Egg Companies, out of Nashville, NC. Carolina Egg Companies, a subsidiary of Braswell Foods, is a fourth generation family owned company that has been producing eggs and egg products for American families and businesses for over 45 years.
Braswell Foods, one of the largest organic feed and egg producers in the United States, is very proud to be American Humane Certified by the American Humane Association, (the nation’s original monitoring and labeling program) which ensures the humane care of farm animals; as well as, receiving the ISO 14001 Certification for its industry leadership as an environmental steward.
All of the pasteurized eggs used for omelets, scrambled eggs, and other dishes come from The Carolina Egg Companies.
All of our shell eggs used for fried or scrambled eggs also come from the Carolina Egg Companies, and are Cage Free and American Humane Certified.
Eggs are all-natural, and one egg has lots of vitamins and minerals—all for 70 calories. The nutrients in eggs can play a role in weight management, muscle strength, healthy pregnancy, brain function, eye health and more.
All of our fresh chicken comes from Hopkins Poultry. This family owned business based out of Browns Summit, NC has been selling poultry for generations. All of the chicken is hand cut, a dying art in these days where machines do just about everything.
Buying from local companies like Hopkins Poultry keeps more of the money spent in our communities. It also reduces the distance food has to travel from farm to fork, which means fresher, tastier food, and a lower carbon footprint.
Fun NC Poultry Facts
• Poultry is the #1 Agricultural Industry in North Carolina
• North Carolina is ranked #3 Nationally in Total Poultry Production
• Over 5,700 Farm Families produce Poultry & Eggs in NC
*Information from the http://www.ncpoultry.org/facts
Did you know?
The average American consumes 90 pounds of chicken, 17 pounds of turkey, and, 20 dozen eggs per year. Americans eat chicken more than any other meat.
Salad: the carnivore’s nemesis, or a vegetarian’s delight? Well, not all salads are created equal. Guilford Dining is committed to providing 1 choice of local salad greens EVERY DAY. As the seasons change, so do the varieties of greens available. Sometimes we’ll have a tender mix of greens that could be sweet or spice, other times it will be chopped head lettuces, or arugula. This offering will change at least every few weeks, if not sooner.
Here are just a few of the places we will be buying salad greens from throughout the year.
Cottle Organics is a 40 acre farm that has been certified organic since 2007. Located on I-40 in Rose Hill, 35 miles north of Wilmington, it is owned and operated by Herbie Cottle. Having been raised on a family farm, Herbie continues the family tradition of growing vegetables of the highest quality. His produce harvested at the peak of ripeness, flavor, and nutritional content is better for you and your family’s health. Cottle Organics uses sustainable farming practices without the use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides or synthetic pesticides. These organic practices benefit the environment and Cottle Organics is dedicated to saving the environment for future generations.
Faucette Farms has a rich heritage in North Carolina dating back to the early 1900’s. The farms was founded as a small family tobacco farm with minimal amounts of produce. Throughout seven generations, the Faucette’s have poured their love, energy and respect into the land in order to squeeze out just enough to support their families. Thanks to the hard work of loyal employees, the farm has been able to grow exponentially in comparison to its humble beginnings. Today, Faucette Farms is also able to supply produce to a multitude of families in the community and other establishments.
The Guilford Farm
The Guilford College Farm is a perfect example of stewardship in practice. The farm gives our students more options for healthier food by providing fresh produce for Guilford Dining Services, sells extra produce to local restaurants like Elizabeth’s Pizza and Lucky 32, and donates extra food to non-profit organizations like Backpack Beginnings, which focuses on eliminating child hunger in our community. The farm also participates in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, so members of the Guilford community can buy shares in the CSA and receive a box of vegetables every week throughout the farming season. The program was so popular this year that a waiting list had to be created! But don’t worry if you didn’t make it on to the waiting list; every week, we host the Guilford Farmers Market on campus, where the farm sells extra produce and local farmers are also invited to the market to sell their crops to the Guilford community. You can find out more information on their Facebook page and in a recent article in The Guilfordian.
Eastern Carolina Organics
We market and distribute wholesale Carolina organic farm produce to retailers, restaurants and buying clubs. We think (heck, we KNOW) that a sustainable food system is based on providing fresh local fruit, vegetables, and herbs while protecting the environment.
We’re farmer-owned and we act like it. Eighty percent of our sales go right back to our growers. Our customers get fresh organic veggies and fruits, along with the knowledge that they’re enabling farmers to protect their family land.
By pooling diverse harvests from several regions, we’re able to meet the demand for a steady stream of high-quality, seasonal food choices throughout the year.
“We were born in 2004 as a project of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) and a recipient of a $48,000 Tobacco Trust Fund Commission grant. The goal of CFSA then is our mission now—to support emerging organic farmers and organic tobacco farmers while improving the supply of local organic produce.
In 2005, we became a private, grower- and manager-owned LLC with 13 grower and 2 staff owners. Today, ECO works with over 40 growers and 100 customers.
In 2011, CFSA recognized ECO as its Business of the Year, stating, “ECO is honored for their commitment to helping sustainable family farms thrive in the Carolinas.”
Tomorrow we begin celebrating Food Week here at Guilford. Students came up with the idea of turning National Food Day into a week long event with movies, speakers, cooking demos, a farmers market here on campus, a fermentation dinner, and of course, or bi-annual Meadow Fed dinner at the Guilford Farm.
Having a whole week of events celebrating food, and educating people about where it comes from and how that affects our bodies and planet is my bread and butter. That’s why I’m here. But by far my favorite part of the whole thing is the Meadow Fed Dinner.
Last year at about this time a student, Bennett Christian, came to us hoping to do a dinner at the farm to celebrate the end of the harvest season, and give the Guilford community a chance to enjoy its young farm. Since that dinner we’ve done three more. This farm meal thing has taken on a mind of its own, and now we’re going to be doing four or five of them a year! Almost everything we serve at these meals comes from the Guilford Farm or other North Carolina farms and family owned businesses.
The idea of farm to table can be abstract, and easy to ignore if you’re not already tuned into the locavore movement. There is nothing abstract about eating vegetables while sitting just a few yards away from where they grew. Even the most traditional of eaters knows somewhere down in their gut that being close to the earth that your food came from, and the people that grew it is a good thing. That experience feeds people in a way that fast food can never hope to.
I could ramble on about how amazing the food will be, or how it will change your life, but won’t. Don’t take my word for it, find out for yourself. Join us this Thursday at the Guilford Farm (past the soccer field and the New Garden Friends School) from 5-7:30pm for some tasty local food and good company.
Here at Guilford Dining we’ve been recycling our used fryer grease with Piedmont Biofuels for years. We knew that this awesome company took the used fryer grease and turned it into something useful, but until recently “something useful” was an abstract idea, not something specific. Last Thursday I took a trip to Cane Creek Farm to pick up some incredible pork for our annual Feed the Difference dinner, and couldn’t resist the temptation to stop in for a snack at The Saxapahaw General Store. I was pleasantly surprised to see a Piedmont Biofuels pumping station at the store. It’s kind of cool to see first hand that our fryer grease is getting put to good use. It’s even cooler to know that Guilford College is working towards switching some of its fleet over to using that same biodiesel, and that we’d have our own pumping station here on campus, too!
Here’s our menu for this year’s Feed the Difference dinner here at Guilford. Click on the links for more info about the farms that have grown for us, and check back soon for features on these farmers and producers.
Fresh for You/Action
Grits & Greens
Boonville Grain Grits & Faucette Farm Greens- Vegan without additions
Goat Lady Dairy Cheese, Neese’s Sausage
NC Pork BBQ
Cane Creek Farm Pork
Roadside BBQ Chicken
Baked Sweet Potatoes w/ Fixins-Vegan
NC Sweet Potatoes, Homeland Creamery Butter, Neese’s Bacon, Ashe County Cheese
Braised Greens -Vegan
Cottle Farm Greens
Guilford Farm Sweet Peppers and Eggplant, Sunburst Tomato Company sunburst tomatoes & Somerset Farm garlic
Oven Fried Tofu- Vegan
Twin Oaks Tofu- Louisa VA
Boonville Grain Cornmeal
Sunburst Tomato Company sunburst tomatoes
Butternut Squash Soup
East Carolina Organics Butternut, Homeland Creamery Cream
Grilled PB&J sandwiches, Grilled Cheese
LOAF Bread, Benjamin Vineyards Muscadine Jelly, Ashe County Cheese
Hot Apple Cider Floats
Local Unfiltered Apple Cider
Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream
Homeland Creamery Ice Cream
Pumpkin Dump Cake
Faucett Farm Flour, local pumpkin
Scratch cookies w/ local flour
ginger cookies, snickerdoodle
This past week I’ve been doing a lot of running around and making phone calls to ensure that all of the fantastic local products we’re using for our Feed the Difference meal would find their way to our walk-ins and shelves before Tuesday. It’s easy to forget, sometimes, that food isn’t just something we buy from the grocery store or a distributor, food is life. Feed the Difference is one opportunity we have to really take the time to appreciate the people that grow our food, the places our food comes from, and the impact that our eating decisions have on our world.
In sitting down to write the menu for our FTD dinner here at Guilford, I was struck by the number of choices we have for good clean food. There were so many choices available we just couldn’t include them all, how cool is that? I also realized that while I’m fortunate enough to be able to go out to the farms we buy from and shake hands with the incredible people that raise the food we serve, our customers rarely get to have that experience. To help with that, I’ve come up with a couple of ideas.
First, there’s the market. During the FTD dinner, we will have a couple special guests in the dining hall. Korey Erb, the Guilford Farmer will be around to sell a few of his wares and talk to you about what he grows and how he grows it. We’ll also have Robert Roth from LOAF bakery here to sample some of his incredible bread that we’ve just started using. And last, but not least, we’ll have some representatives from the Campus Kitchen Project on hand to help us take a look at how much food we waste, and their special way of putting food that would otherwise be wasted towards feeding the hungry.
Second, I thought this would be a great time to launch a Featured Farmer program. Throughout the dining room for FTD, look for signs that share the story of the incredible farmers we buy from. Take the time to appreciate the fact that each tomato or leaf of lettuce was picked very carefully by hand. When you bite into the BBQ we’re making from the pork from Cane Creek Farm, think about the work farmer Eliza Maclean had to do to raise those hogs in a pasture instead of a cage. I think hearing these stories will make the food that much more enjoyable, so to that end, I’ll be doing a monthly feature of one farmer and the food we buy from them. Check back here, or on signs in the dining hall for the stories of where your food comes from.
We are truly fortunate to have so much incredible food being raised right here in our own back yard. Thanks for taking the time to share it with us!
We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday!