Monday, January 9, 2012
Eating Local at Northeastern: What's Ahead for 2012?
Welcome back students! We have been busy over the winter break working with the Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP) and their group of growers and farmers to better understand what they will be growing and what the projected harvest times are for their products.
As you may know from previous blog posts, the dining halls at Northeastern have been utilizing potatoes from Sampson Farm and butternut squash from Noquochoke Orchards, both located in Westport, Massachusetts. Starting in the late spring, we hope to be able to build upon the number of local products we offer and the number of farms we buy direct from. It may still be cold outside but now is the time to work with local growers to see which seeds they have purchased and when they project they will start planting and harvesting so we can write our spring menus. Tonight is the annual winter meeting that brings the farmers from SEMAP together with the local chefs and distributors to start making the necessary plans to make this all happen. Also on the agenda for tonight is a discussion regarding GAP (Good Agricultural Practices), which is a USDA program to verify that farms are following recommended safe practices. Personally I can't wait to get this program started back up as there are so many advantages - not the least of which is that these local products are so tasty!
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