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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Tag: local

Aug. 23-29: National Community Gardening Week

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared August 23rd-29th to be “National Community Gardening Week“!
“Community gardens provide numerous benefits including opportunities for local food production, resource conservation, and neighborhood beautification,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
“But they also promote family and community interaction and enhance opportunities to eat healthy, nutritious foods. Each of these benefits is something we can and should strive for.”
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UW Madison Gardens and Housing “Keeping it Local”


“A new local food initiative on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus is starting very close to home. For the first time this summer, UW Housing’s Dining and Culinary Services is sourcing some of its produce from a small plot in Allen Centennial Gardens on campus. Diners at Frank’s Place – the dining facility in Holt Commons – have been enjoying fresh greens, radishes and onions grown just a few hundred feet away, and some of the lettuce in the Babcock Dairy Store’s sandwiches and salads may have had a shorter trip to the store than the patron eating it.”

You can read more about this initiative in the full story by Jill Sakai of University Communications. This is a story with some close ties to In Defense of Food and Go Big Read. Monica Theis, a Food Science instructor who “assumed responsibility for the garden four years ago,” is participating in a Center for Biology Education faculty book group that has been hard at work developing and sharing approaches to using the book in courses. Monica is a great contributor to the planning that’s underway to assure rich discussions of the book throughout the year. Housing is a co-sponsor of Pollan’s visit, and it’s great to see how agile they are in implementing some of the principles in the book in our dining halls.

Finally, there couldn’t be a more beautiful setting than Allen Centennial Gardens. I would love to brighten up our sites with some supplemental photos if any amateur photographers would like to take photos, and the full story has some beautiful, captioned photos.

Image of Monica Theis by Bryce Richter, University Communications
Sarah McDaniel

Sampling Cookbook Collections

As we enjoy access to several months of great farm-market food, you may find yourself wondering how to prepare or store the bounty. If this is your conundrum of late, consider browsing Steenbock Library’s cookbook collection to find recipes to old standards and new flavors.

The cookbook collection began with a generous donation in 1965 by Madison resident Mortimer Levitan as a memorial to his mother. This initial donation included 2615 titles. Today, the cookbook collection continues to grow and focuses upon culinary history, trends, and regional and world cuisines.

Should you wish to sample the cookbook collection, it can be browsed in the first floor book stacks, (TX call-number range) and vertical files (filing cabinets). In addition to the cookbook collection at Steenbock, other cookbooks, of popular interest, can be found at College Library. Ebling Library also has cookbooks–many that address dining and food considerations during health events or enduring medical conditions. All books can be found using the MadCat catalog–keyword, “cookery” for the comprehensive list. Otherwise, speak with your friendly campus librarians for assistance.

Bon appetit!

Farm Fresh Atlas

Think globally, but eat locally, using the Southern Wisconsin Farm Fresh Atlas! Use the atlas to locate farms, markets and restaurant partners who supply fresh, area-grown produce and food products. Do note that many of the area growers welcome visitors with special events, u-pick options, hay-rides and tours. The 2009 print edition of the atlas was initially released at the first Dane County Farmers’ Market of the season on April 18. It can still be found at several university and Madison-area locations, including Steenbock Library. Should you be looking for options, apart from the southern Wisconsin area, consult the sites for Wisconsin Farm Fresh Atlases or Local Harvest. The Farm Fresh Atlas has been developed by the REAP Food Group in cooperation with the Dane County Farmers’ Market, the Friends of the Dane County Farmers’ Market, and the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems.