On September 17 and 18 the Upstate Institute (in partnership with Colgate’s Lampert Institute) sponsored a two day series of events on the topic of, “Local Food Cultures: Traditions and Futures.” Each of the events in the series was very well attended by our campus community as well as by our neighbors interested in the topics of food, politics, culture, and environment. If you couldn’t join us, click below for some highlights from the events.
Dr Jennifer Jordan began the series on Thursday evening with her lecture, “Edible Memory: How Tomatoes Became Heirlooms and Apples Became Antiques.” Dr Jordan, shown here with a display of heirloom tomatoes, investigates the way that collective memory shapes our views and habits related to food.
Following Dr Jordan’s talk, we enjoyed a reception featuring a selection of locally sourced food and drink, including fruit, vegetables, cheese, and honey from Hamilton’s weekly farmers market, beer from Good Nature Brewing in Hamilton, and wine from Owera Winery in nearby Cazenovia.
Locally sourced apples and honey were just one part of our locavore spread, catered by Chartwells.
On Friday morning, our two visiting speakers, Dr Laura Lengnick (left) and Dr Jennifer Jordan toured Colgate’s student-run Community Garden.
The Environmental Studies Brown Bag lecture series featured two local food producers: Carrie Blackmore (’08) , president of Good Nature Brewing, a local farm brewery, and Wendy Burkhart-Spiegel, co-owner of Common Thread Community Farm, a local farm operated on the community supported agriculture (CSA) model. Joined by guest speaker Dr Laura Lengnick, the panelists talked about the challenges facing local food producers.
On Friday afternoon Dr Lengnick gave a lecture on the topic of food resiliency, which she illustrated in part with pictures and examples from our own Community Garden. Dr Lengnick argues that our food systems are too vulnerable to shocks from climate change, and that we should move to more regionally-centered food systems.