Are you a carnivore, herbivore, or omnivore? What about a locavore?
With the rise in popularity of green living the locavore movement, also known as farm-to-fork, has been gaining traction across the country. The key principal of being a locavore is eating locally grown or produced food. There are many benefits of eating local foods, from helping the local economy to cutting down on emissions. Working local foods into your diet can have a huge impact.
Recently, Culver Academies has started to adopt this trend. Living in the middle of farm country, it makes sense to eat locally. With the help of Mark Kepler from the Purdue Extension office in Fulton County, the dining hall was able to get in contact with local growers to supply some of the fresh produce they serve every day.
Currently, the Lay Dining Hall is receiving a variety of vegetables from a family-owned and operated Mennonite farm in Argos. This farm is a part of a co-op of roughly six to eight farms in the area. Included in the weekly deliveries are hundreds of pounds tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce. Lay Dining Hall Assistant Director Carol Buchanan said people have been loving the fresh, crisp, and lush vegetables.
The farm producing the food for Culver is owned by Titus Oberholtzer and his family. Only 20 minutes away in Argos, Director of Sustainability Chris Kline ’82 arranged a visit to the Oberholtzer farm to show where the food is grown. Over the course of the visit Oberholtzer showed the group the various fields and greenhouses (which operate almost year-round) that they tend. Going forward, Oberholtzer would like to start providing melon, green beans, and onions to the Academies once production is high enough to sustain Culver’s needs.
However, creating a more sustainable campus doesn’t stop at the dining hall. There are plenty of other things the Culver community is working to improve. For example, recycling and composting has grown on campus tremendously over recent years through the Feed the Eagle campaign. In addition, the Pollinator Prairie has been created near the old airfield providing a home to native wildflowers and a school-owned and operated beehive.
For more information on sustainability on campus and in the Culver community please check out Sustainability at Culver. If you’d like to join the locavore movement, the best place to start is the Culver Farmer’s Market. Held every Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., the market is located on the west side of the Culver Town Park and teeming with local vendors.