Volume 3: December 2010

Parkhurst Dining Hosts DeHart Local Foods Dinner

adapted by Emily Bacheller ‘11 from a press release by Grace Hoyer

Farmer's Market on Brooks walkway at the DeHart Local Foods Dinner October 2010

Nine hundred and ninety-five students, community members, faculty and staff attended the seventh annual DeHart Local Foods Dinner, a sustainable event featuring the foods of local farmers and growers hosted by Allegheny College and its food service provider Parkhurst Dining Services, on Thursday, October 7 at 4 p.m. on Brooks lawn and walk and in Brooks dining hall.

The DeHart Local Foods Dinner is named in honer of the late Allegheny College Environmental Science Professor Jennifer DeHart, who had a lifelong passion for protecting the environment, promoting sustainable living and was dedicated to advancing the local foods movement. A bounty of farm-fresh produce, herbs and meats were expertly prepared by Parkhurst executive chefs in a variety of healthy and delicious dishes such as ranch potato salad prepared with blue heirloom potatoes, and spaghetti and meatballs with steamed local vegetables. According to Scott Steiner, Parkhurst director of dining services, “our committee’s goal is to revive this traditional local food event as a carbon foot print to carry on the sustainable vision of the late Professor Jennifer DeHart.”

The evening also featured a local foods market on Brooks walk, allowing local farmers came to campus to meet the attendees and sell affordable produce, herbs and flowers to the enthusiastic students. Representatives from Hog Heaven even brought a rescued llama wearing a Halloween costume to pose for pictures to raise money for their abandoned animal rehabilitation projects. Uncle John’s Band played while local families played corn-hole on the lawn and learned more about a creatively constructed chicken pen.

Participating in local food dinners is an extension of Parkhurst’s comprehensive FarmSource program, which focuses on purchasing 20% of their food from the finest local growers, family-owned farms and producers of food within a 55-mile radius of campus to support and sustain local agriculture. This event was coordinated with the help of Erin Sweeney ’10 and Kelly Boulton ’01 who worked with the farmers to create a menu for this event. Boulton, the college’s Sustainability Coordinator, also contributed to the outdoor activities by bringing her chickens in her home-made chicken run. Scott Steiner and Michael Steiny worked within Parkhurst with the chefs to make this event run smoothly. Paula Frisch ’11 was in charge of decorating, taking pictures at the event, organizing the farmer’s market and distributing delicious baked goods to the attendees. Rachel Willis ’12 coordinated music, the farm animals and set up family friendly games to play on the lawn. Allison Elick ’11, who works with physical plant, helped set up and take down the event and Penny Frank, who worked with the office of Public Affairs, created the advertisements to promote this memorable evening.

LOCAL FOODS FEATURED
Lori & Paul Bender: Fruitful Farm, Meadville, Ground Beef
Sharna Brandon & Charger: Abundant Hillside
Gardens, Albion, Pumpkins, Gourds, Corn Stalks
John Clendenin: Clen Croft, Centerville, Carrots
Beth Etter: Conneaut Lake, Kale, Swiss Chard, Bell & Chili Peppers, & Tomatoes
Sonja Hunt & Leslie Alexander: Restoration Herbs, Franklin, Herbs
Richard Hunter & Jessica Roberts: Hunter Farms, Fairview, Blueberries
Dan Koman: Wooden Nickel Buffalo Farm, Edinboro, Buffalo Chili
Bob Rose: Golden Hill Farms, Cochranton, Ground Beef
Terry & Trish Skelton: Skelton Farms, Edinboro, Ground beef
Jerry Troyer: Troyer Farm, Meadville Potatoes, Green Beans, Spinach
Rebecca & David Vines: Fresh from the Vines, Meadville, Potatoes, Beets
Cathy & Charlie Vorisek: Vorisek’s Backyard Bee Farm, Linesville, Honey
David Yoder: Nu-Way Farm, Fredonia, Spinach, Lettuce
Tom & Linda, Billie, Maxine, Michael Effie, Tom, Tedd & Jeff Bookamer: Bookamer Family Farm, Meadville, Ground Beef
Peter & Nathan Held Tender Acres
Cambridge Springs: Carrots & Sweet Potatoes