A little over a month ago we hosted a wonderful group of Duke students for a “farm to fork” alternative spring break. The students, a group of about 14 wild, intelligent souls, joined us on a journey through the U.S. food chain. We took the students to farms, had guest lecturers talk to the group about the issues facing our current day food system, and discussed how we as students and consumers can make a difference in making our food system more just for all. We literally took the journey from farm to fork and beyond. In an effort to capture some of the wonderful moments we shared with these students along the farm to fork journey, we assembled a short photo essay.
Day 1: The Farm
On the first morning we shopped at the Durham Farmers’ Market, where we bought all our veggies for our meals. In keeping with the theme of supporting a sustainable, local food economy, all our veggies were bought from local farms.
On the night of Day 1 we had three guest lecturers come and speak, James Robinson with the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), a farmer advocate group, Brock Philips, a farmer with Coon Rock Farm, and Lee Miller, a former Duke Campus Farm intern and current agricultural policy researcher. The speakers addressed the many issues that smaller scale, local farms in the area face.
And of course… we ate a lot of good food for dinner. Every meal of the day was a feast, cooked by the students with local veggies.
Day 2: More Farms, Carrot Jam, and Goats
On the second day we started off the day making carrot jam from some of the carrots we bought at market. Knowing how to cook, preserve food, and make jam are all ways we can learn to better value the food we eat, as well as our food system.
Day 3: The Beginning, the Middle, and the End of the Food Chain and Beyond
Later in the day we took at tour of Eastern Carolina Organics’ (ECO) facility. ECO is an aggregator and distributor of organic local foods. Aggregators and distributors are very important in an alternative food economy. They help farmers sell their products beyond the farmers’ market and into grocery stores, restaurants, etc.
At the end of the day we had a delicious feast and heard from Dr. Mary Eubanks from Duke’s Biology Department. Dr. Eubanks is a corn breeder, and has done amazing research on non-GMO corn hybrids.
At the end of the last day we all said adieu. It was hard saying goodbye to such a wonderful group of students, but they all promised us they would come visit us at the farm.
Since March we have seen a few of the students visit the farm and we have seen several others getting involved in Duke’s food scene on campus. We are genuinely hopeful that these bright young minds will go out in the world and do great things to change our food system into a system that is more just for all, both at Duke and beyond. Thank you to all the wonderful students of Duke Food Project’s ASB 2013. May your future journeys, wherever they take you, be filled with fun adventures and delicious food!