If you want to get your hands dirty or doughy, this is the tour for you. We’ll head to Chatham University’s Eden Hall campus, a 388-acre farm turned cutting-edge learning laboratory and demonstration site showcasing sustainable solutions to issues of energy, water, food and agriculture, air quality and climate, and the interaction of natural and built systems. This innovative campus is home to the Falk School of Sustainability and Environment, which encourages undergraduate and graduate students focusing on food studies to engage with the work through collaborative projects and experiences that take them outside the classroom—so that they may develop and apply real-world solutions.
You’ll choose one of two hands-on activities for small group engagement (pre-registration required; spaces are limited):
• Agroecology Farm Activity: Visit the agroecology demonstration farm and experience how students of all ages are introduced to various aspects of food system sustainability through applied and hands-on learning. We can also dig in and get our hands dirty as we harvest greens for our lunch.
• Heritage Grains Activity: A growing number of farmers in western Pennsylvania are cultivating heritage grains. We’ll learn how their work fits into the regional food system and use some of those grains to prepare pizza dough for our lunch. As we get our hands floury, we’ll learn in the same way that students and community members do: through fun, hands-on, experiential curriculum.
Throughout the day, our journey will be grounded in the work of the interdisciplinary Center for Regional Agriculture, Food, and Transformation (CRAFT). We’ll leave with a better understanding of how hands-on experience can deepen knowledge and engagement around sustainable food systems issues. We’ll also gain new insights into western Pennsylvania’s regional food system, the relationships, assets, and gaps that undergird it, and the potential of culinary tourism to support regional economic development.
Host organizations include:
• The Center for Regional Agriculture, Food, and Transformation (CRAFT) at Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus
• Frankferd Farms