A Message from the SAL

12 Nov

Greetings [CEEDS] readers! I am writing as a guest-blogger from the Spatial Analysis Lab on campus (Sabin-Reed 104). My name is Victoria Beckley, and I am the post-bac fellow for the Spatial Analysis Lab (or SAL), which is a cross-campus academic resource that supports GIS (Geographic Information Systems) mapping projects for students, faculty, and staff across the academic divisions. Our work ranges from mapping Paradise Pond with faculty in the sciences, to mapping decades of India rainfall in Economics, to mapping a narrative around the issue of food access in the Study of Women and Gender. For a complete list of our current projects visit this link.

Mapping Rainfall in India

Mapping Rainfall in India



The SAL has a long-standing history of collaboration with CEEDS, and so we thought we would take a moment to share some of our previous collaborative efforts as well as consider opportunities for the future.

Current Collaborations:

CEEDS has an ongoing relationship with the SAL through which we manage spatial data collected from the MacLeish Field Station as well as a variety of other local areas and projects. The lab helps equip student workers with GPS and GIS skills to better enable them to conduct research. trimblegpsStudents borrow our Trimble GPS units (see image to right) to map data on the American chestnut and fruit tree groves at MacLeish, to map the movement of local invasive plant species, and to continue work on an ongoing project along the Mill River.

More Recent Developments in the SAL:

In early October the Spatial Analysis Lab hosted an Ebola First Responder Mapping workshop. The 38 workshop attendees learned to use OpenStreetMap to draw roads, paths, and buildings -features that are commonly not mapped- on West African maps. The point of this exercise was to provide aid workers on the ground, in countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone, the ability to identify features like roads and paths to remote villages, bridges and river crossings, schools that are being used as temporary health clinics, and even open fields for helicopter landings. Groups like Doctors Without Borders and the American Red Cross rely on this crowd-sourced cartography to navigate areas where previously the only available maps were made up of fuzzy aerial images.

Similar OpenStreetMap projects were created for mapping features in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, as well as for mapping the Gaza Strip, in order to utilize GIS technologies to better understand our geographies and make them accessible for spatial analysis.

A few weeks later we hosted a follow-up social mapping lab session (including pizza of course) that provided a space for collaborative mapping efforts and further conversations around the topic. Experienced and new mappers alike joined in.

Potential Collaborations for the Future:

Along the same lines as the OpenStreetMap projects described above, one could imagine CEEDS students working in collaboration with the SAL to conduct home-grown mapping projects pertaining to issues of sustainability on campus. Last year students put together a story map to highlight campus efforts in sustainability, which can be viewed here.

As long as your data has a spatial component it can be visualized on a map. allowing you to investigate patterns and perform spatial analysis. Furthermore, if you have an idea for a mapping project, but the data does not yet exist, feel free to drop us a line with a project proposal and we can help you determine how to go about creating those 
data. Visit the SAL website to explore all of our workshops and resources. You can also contact me directly with any questions, comments, or ideas: vbeckley at smith.edu.

-Victoria Beckley is the current post-bac fellow in the Spatial Analysis Lab (SAL). Victoria comes to Smith from Southern California, where she completed an undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary GIS. She is originally from Dallas, Texas.

An Impressive Affair: CEEDS’ 4th Annual Cider Festival

4 Nov

The Center for the Environment, Ecological Design, and Sustainability [CEEDS] celebrated Family Weekend with a cider pressing event* on October 25th to great success.

This being my first experience with this event I did not know what to expect.  That morning, I staggered over to Chapin annex road with a milk crate filled with 6 varieties of heirloom apples. As I rounded the corner of Chapin I was amazed to see a white pick-up truck filled to the brim with an impressive load of apples -of all different colors, shapes, and sizes.

Lily1The truckload of apples: a mix of Macoun, Gala, Empire, and Honeycrisp.

As the morning preparations continued in a flurry of table cloths and apple slicing, crowds of parents, clearly in awe with the idyllic setting of Smith College on a breezy fall morning, began gathering around the apple tasting and cider press.

IMG_2422

As the numbers grew I was soon unable to see anything past the heirloom tasting table where I was stationed. Parents and students crowded around the white-clothed, apple laden table, clutching compostable cups of fresh-pressed cider and samples of aged local cheeses or a Hadley-made cider donut.  I could hear the director’s voice facilitating the operation of the pressing as people called out their preferred varieties for tasting to me.

Over and over, I was asked where the apples had come from (Scott farm in Dummerston, Vermont) and where one could get some of the heirloom varieties. “Our supermarket would never have these!” was a constant refrain. ‘”I never knew there were so many kinds of apples!” was another common exclamation. It was wonderful to see so many people marveling in the possibilities of such local, diverse fruit.

Lily3
The heirloom apple tasting table.

The grandmother of a friend of mine delighted immensely in the Cox’s Orange Pippen, her favorite variety of apple, which has been unavailable to her since she moved to the States from Great Britain. She reported that she had tried to smuggle a pound of this variety through airport security a few years prior, but had had them confiscated.

I slipped her a whole apple.

-Lily Carlisle-Reske is a sophomore at Smith College from Alexandria, Virginia. She is studying environmental science and policy with a concentration in sustainable food and Italian. When she is not working she is probably in the kitchen stirring a pot of soup and baking bread.

*The event, this year in collaboration with Dining Services, included cider pressing with apples generously donated by Clark Brothers Orchard in Ashfield, MA (and gathered by CEEDS students and staff), fresh-made cider donuts from Atkins Farms in South Amherst, MA, an heirloom apple tasting with apples from Scott Farm in Dummerston, VT, and 1yr and 5yr cheddar cheese from Grafton Village in Grafton, VT.

It all begins with the community: a site visit to Azilal Province

23 Oct

This post by student in the sustainable food concentration about her experience in Morocco was originally published on the High Atlas Foundation blog on Wednesday, 21 May 2014 11:49

Burke_AzilalSite_1

It was well past nine by the time we rumbled through the city to pick up Abderrahim. The streets of the medina were only just waking up from their Sunday morning snooze, but HAF’s Project Manager had been up since six. He hopped in the front seat of the taxi, passing back loaves of warm barley bread to the four of us scrunched into the back seat. We were happy to accept; it would be a long ride to Azilal province.

It is summer already in Marrakech. The city echoes with the slapping of thousands of sandals on hot pavement. People congregate at night in the cool parks, squares and cafés, sipping juices, feeding pigeons and chatting. But outside of the city the change in season takes on a larger significance. As we drive, we see on either side of the road small groups of men and women harvesting golden fields of wheat, scything the long grass with steady rhythm. The barley harvest has also begun, and the markets are already filled with fresh apricots, peaches, melons and plums. In a country where more than 45% of the labor force works in agriculture; the harvest is a matter of the utmost environmental, cultural and economic importance.

We drive north along a dusty road for a couple of hours before we stop at a roadside café. As we dip our bread in olive oil, honey and amlou – a nut paste mixed with argan oil – we discuss the agricultural system that produced our breakfast. What does it take to grow almonds, walnuts, and olives in the mountains of Azilal province? Why these crops? Encouraging fruit tree cultivation over grain or livestock production can be challenging, but the environmental and economic benefits, can be enormous. Today we’ll be seeing HAF’s methodology in action, visiting a tree nursery and seeing the beginnings of participatory planning in a local community. With the launch of HA3, the High Atlas Agriculture and Artisanal enterprise developed to connect farmers with organic markets domestically and abroad, these nuts and oils will mean increased family incomes and reinvestment in community development. But it all begins with the trees.

Burke_AzilalSite_2

Our breakfast finished with sweet cups of tea, we head on toward the nursery, passing the incredible Bin al Ouidane lake with its myriad shades of blue and green. Dammed in the 1950’s for hydro-electric power and irrigation, the lake reflects all of the faded greens and clay reds of the mountains. The new nursery, built in partnership with a local cooperative, is nestled into the slope of one of these mountains. We half walk, half slide our way down to the terraced beds. The three large plots are all prepared for planting, and several workers have already begun propagating thousands of olives in the lowest bed. The farmers use varieties that are well adapted to this mountainous environment, and the cuttings used for planting come from local olive trees, dried briefly to prevent rot. Abderrahim is hopeful that the success rate could be over 90%, comparable to the nearby nursery at Ait Mohammed.

The two upper terraced beds will soon be filled with more fruit trees: walnuts mixed with the adult almonds already littering the land, providing ample saplings to distribute to local farmers. These varieties, unlike many fruit trees grown in the region, don’t require pesticides or intensive irrigation, and are therefore excellent candidates for organic cultivation. Additionally, on the mountainous soils of Azilal province, they are essential in the battle against ongoing soil erosion.

These nurseries represent a huge commitment from the participating communities – some trees, such as almonds, will mature enough to bear fruit in a couple of years, but others will take as many as seven or eight. The amount of labor required, especially early on in the process, is high, but regular labor is also required after the seedlings sprout. Yet the local cooperative has been more than willing to take on these responsibilities, ensuring regular maintenance by community members and leasing land. Efficient drip irrigation systems are the next step here. The community is making excellent progress considering they only began clearing the land in late February. Insha’allah, these neat rows will soon be spotted with olive seedlings.

Burke_AzilalSite_3

 It’s now past noon and the blazing sun makes the air above us dance. Slowly, we make our goodbyes and work our way back up the hill to the taxi and toward Ourouizarght. It’s a small town, but a hub of the province, and it is here that we meet Amina. As the director of a women’s association in town, she’ll be joining us for a community visit to Ait Shribou, a nearby village. HAF hasn’t yet gotten involved in the community, so we’re here to introduce the organization and to get a feel for the conditions of the village, its environment and its agriculture. On the way there, we pick up women and children who volunteer to show us around. It is strikingly beautiful: walnuts are already coming in on the trees and some spring wildflowers are still in bloom. Si Hassan stops the cab by the edge of the road and we climb down into the valley.

The slopes are fairly steep and we stop in front of a small cave where one of the women invites  us to drink the spring water. Ait Shribou is built around this spring and its sweet water is syphoned off into an aqueduct and transported to surrounding towns. Further down the hill, several women have gathered with their children to wash laundry in the aqueduct, beating their clothes dry in the sun.

Burke_AzilalSite_4

Despite its water resources, life in the village is difficult. We gather in a small shop on the other side of the valley to identify the most pressing community issues. The three men in the shop offer us a table and chairs, and join the women in discussing the state of the village. Soon, poster paper and colored markers are produced, and two of the younger villagers began to map out their community. From this, in Darija (Moroccan Arabic) mixed with Tamazight (the local Berber Amazigh dialect), the development priorities of the village are discussed. Soon the paper is splattered in red, green and blue and the whole table is laughing. Neighbors leading donkeys peek into the shop, buying sugar and candies for the kids, and fresh mint is brought for tea. The discussion continues for several hours, and at the end, a meeting with the women of the community is proposed for the coming weeks. Spirits are high as we thank our hosts and work our way back to the car. As soon as the wheat harvest is finished, these women too will drink cups of steaming tea and discuss strengthening the future of their communities, one tree at a time.

Amelia Burke, HAF intern
Photos: Amelia Burke

Amelia Burke, ’16 is in the process of accelerating by an academic year to compensate for time spent working and learning abroad. She studies Middle Eastern Studies, Environmental Science and Policy and concentrates in Sustainable Food and is interested in HLLM implementation in North Africa. She returned to Smith this fall and is HR of Parsons House.

Keep current on gender and international agriculture

20 Oct

https://www.flickr.com/photos/icrisat/5814411222/in/faves-croptrust/ Sorghum at its peak.

Agriculture is the largest employer of rural women in much of the developing world (FAO 2011). Yet women farmers often face gender-based productive constraints, largely in the form of unequal access to resources. The world’s female farmers own less land, manage less livestock, and use less purchased fertilizer than men; they are less likely to obtain formal education, credit, insurance, membership in groups or collectives, and improved seed and livestock breeds (FAO 2011). In many agricultural communities, female-headed households are less resilient to economic and environmental stressors and more food insecure than their male-headed counterparts (for evidence from Africa, see a recent working paper from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research). As should be the case, multilateral agencies and research institutions are increasingly committed to redressing gender inequality through agricultural and rural development.

harvesting wheat (2)
An Ahir tribal woman in Nadapa village, east of Bhuj harvesting wheat.

Through my research on and off campus, I have amassed a collection of favorite agriculture-related blogs. Below are some of the sites that I use to keep current on gender issues on the international ag front. Enjoy.

1. Gender-Nutrition Idea Exchange of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health
2. Year of Gender news page of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
3. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI): Gender
4. Gender, Agriculture, & Assets Project of IFPRI and the International Livestock Research Institute
5. Gender & Food Policy News from IFPRI
6. Climate Change, Collective Action, & Women’s Assets from IFPRI
7. On Gender and Restoration: A case study series by the International Union for Conservation of Nature
8. Agroforestry World posts on gender from the World Agroforestry Center

– Jacqueline Maasch ’16J

Jacqueline is an anthropology major, environmental science & policy minor, and sustainable food concentrator. Her interests include agroecology, human nutrition, (agro)biodiversity conservation, and climate.

The Solar Panels at MacLeish

17 Oct
The Bechtel Environmental Classroom at Smith’s Ada and Archibald MacLeish Field Station is an energetically self sustaining building. All energy required to run the building is provided by the 9.4 kW solar array on site. The solar array powers the water heater, the space heater, and the lighting for the building. The U.S. Energy Information Association reports that the average American residential utility customer consumes 10,837 kWh/year. CivicSolar states that a 9.4 kW array generates about 13,600 kWh annually. Therefore this panel could support the average U.S. household. The solar array at the Field Station was designed and installed by the local (PV) solar cooperative. The tilt angle of the array needs to be adjusted monthly to maximize solar radiation. This is because the sun’s position in the sky changes throughout the year. On September 30th we adjusted the solar panels for October, to a tilt angle of 45°.
Emily_solar
Working to adjust the solar array for October.
Interested in photovoltaics? Come visit the MacLeish Field Station with CEEDS interns on any Saturday afternoon. Sign up here http://www.smith.edu/ceeds/macleish_visit.php. In addition, the engineering department offers a class in photovoltaic and fuel cell system design that gives a more technical background for these renewable energy systems.

-Emily Dixon ’15

Emily Dixon is majoring in engineering with a minor in landscape studies. She is excited to work at MacLeish as a CEEDS intern. During her first semester at Smith she was introduced to the field station through Paul Wetzel’s lab for BIO 155 Biodiversity, Ecology, and Conservation.

Agriculture and transboundary infectious diseases – the Ebola crisis

14 Oct

20141010-BABY-slide-MFC3-videoSixteenByNine1050_NYTPhoto: Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

International Food Policy Research Institute Director General Shenggen Fan has authored an opinion piece on the implications of the Ebola crisis for food systems in West Africa. The article, Preventing an Ebola-Related Food Crisis, was posted to IFPRI’s DG Corner blog on October 9th.

Agricultural production, food importation, labor availability, and local trade have been significantly upset in many regions struck with the virus. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, 40 percent of farmers in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, have abandoned their farms since the outbreak, while cultivation has ceased on 90 percent of agricultural land. Harvests have been disrupted due to labor shortages as people fall ill, are quarantined, or are prevented from traveling freely. Consequences include decreased food availability and rapid increases in food prices: the cost of rice has increased by up to 30% in Ebola-stricken regions (World Bank 2014), while cassava has jumped in price by up to 150% in Liberia (FAO 2014). See the original World Bank and FAO reports for more information.

Fan offers his own recommendations for moderating what could become a large-scale food crisis. I assume this blog’s readership includes those who share my interest in evidence-based agricultural growth that is responsive to the needs of people – perhaps you also have thoughts on the implications of zoonotic epidemics for agricultural livelihoods, and what can and should be done in times of crisis.

I have more questions than answers.

– Jacqueline Maasch ’16J

Jacqueline is an anthropology major, environmental science & policy minor, and sustainable food concentrator. Her interests include agroecology, human health & nutrition, (agro)biodiversity conservation, and climate.

Mountain Day and Maintenance at MacLeish Field Station

13 Oct

MHRange_crop
View of the Holyoke Range on the approach to MacLeish. (Photo by author)

MacLeish hosted a record number of Smithies for Mountain Day on September 29th and has been taking the past week as a resting period.  Student activities included hiking, enjoying the view of the Holyoke range around the fire pit, eating apple cider donuts, climbing the old apple trees in search of apples, taking on the new challenge course, and biking.

MHrange2View of the Holyoke Range from the fire pit area. (Photo: Julia Graham)

Last Friday afternoon, four CEEDS interns traveled out to Whately to fix a waterlogged section of the red trail with the help the Field Station’s neighbor Peter. We moved rocks from the parking lot using Peter’s great orange tractor and spread them along the section of trail that had been washed out. We enjoyed checking out the forest ecology in between tractor deliveries. It took the five of us about 45 minutes to complete the work, with much help from the tractor.

trail_crop
Anna, Ellen and Shelby, three STRIDE interns, work on regrading the red trail. (Photo by author)

We also did some maintenance of the fruit tree orchard in preparation for fall understory plantings and for building the comfrey utility bed. The comfrey will provide nutrients to trees and will be part of a research project with the Temperate Edible Forest Research Network. Much more work will be done in the coming weeks, including planting of comfrey and understory plants, weeding around the fruit trees, and applying white paint to the side of the trees to prevent harm from winter sun.

 flanigan comfrey
Comfrey plant in bloom.

Julia Graham, ’16 currently works as a CEEDS intern primarily at the Ada and Archibald MacLeish Field Station. She is the only student certified to facilitate the use of the challenge course at MacLeish. Julia is a Sustainable Food concentrator and manages to find connections between a lot of different things. We like that she asks a lot of questions and then shares back the connections she finds.

From Apple Orchards to the Big Apple, Smith Students Take to the Streets

23 Sep

Smith students rolled into New York City this weekend for the People’s Climate March, leaving the peaceful country setting of the College to raise our voices and join with communities around the globe demanding climate justice.

The People’s Climate March was slated to turn out just under a quarter of a million marchers in New York; the estimated tally after the fact exceeded 311,000, with hundreds of thousands more marching internationally in solidarity with the local movement. Smith sent a contingent of approximately 60 people–students, faculty, and staff who were ready and willing to take their commitment to sustainability at Smith to a larger stage.

DSCF5048

As we stood, packed shoulder to shoulder in the blocks preceeding the start of the route at Columbus circle, I bore witness to dozens of joyful reunions between friends who came from far and wide to converge at the March. All along the route I marched hand-in-hand with close friends who had traveled with Oberlin, Cornell, University of Chicago, and University of Virginia.

DSCF5018

Although students made up a massive part of the March, there were parents with strollers in tow, front-line community members, laborers, teachers, politicians, and celebrities to be sighted along the 2-mile route. Children wearing superhero costumes with cape lettering such as “Super Villain for Climate Justice” swayed on their parents shoulders; many laborers lifted signs demanding fair wages and food justice; there were politicians and celebrities who marched along the front-line.

DSCF5053 DSCF5083

This was a landmark event in the Environmental movement. Over the past few years I’ve heard the opinion voiced that effective, long-lasting policy change in terms of the climate will only come in the aftermath of large-scale destruction on a historic level as a result of the rapidly changing environment. I have shared moments working with environmental organizations and with my classmates here at Smith, in which the overall feeling of the group in terms of the movement has been so discouraged that we have just felt lonely, unimportant.

My feelings after the March were that maybe this was the historic event to change everything. I finally felt that we are not alone.

-Lily Carlisle-Reske is a sophomore student at Smith College from Alexandria Virginia. She is studying environmental science and policy with a concentration in sustainable food, and Italian. When she is not working she is probably in the kitchen stirring a pot of soup and baking bread.

Summer of Fungi: Looking at Macrofungi Species Richness in Hemlock vs. Birch Forest

1 Sep

My summer research project with fungi began with my interest in the decline of the Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) forest because of two exotic invasive insect species: the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae) and Elongate Hemlock Scale (Fiorinia externa). These two insect pests are likely to cause the die-off of evergreen Eastern Hemlock forests in New England in coming years, resulting in a transition of the dominant tree type in many areas to deciduous Black Birch (Betula lenta). With the help of my SURF advisor Jesse Bellemare, I decided to look at macrofungi species richness in Hemlock versus Birch plots at the MacLeish Field Station and a site in Chesterfield MA. Fungi interact very closely with the trees in their habitat either as mycorrhizae (a symbiotic relationship in which fungi help increase trees’ absorption capabilities), parasites or as decomposers of wood debris and leaves. Given these close interactions, the decline of the Eastern Hemlock could have substantial effects on the fungi community of the Hemlock forest and how nutrients are cycled through these ecosystems.

One potential difference between the fungi communities of Hemlock and Birch forests is how dead wood will be decomposed.  There are two major types of wood decomposition that fungi use to extract nutrients from wood.  Brown rot fungi species are typically associated with conifer forests.  While feeding on dead conifer wood, these fungi do not degrade lignin, a key component of plant cell walls, leaving the wood somewhat intact and retaining organic carbon.  In contrast, white rot fungi species do degrade lignin, leaving highly decomposed wood behind. A change in forest type from coniferous Hemlock to deciduous Birch could change the principle form of decomposition carried out by fungi.  This change would have dramatic impacts on the amount of carbon stored in soil and other ecosystem processes.

The learning curve for identifying mushrooms or fungal “fruiting bodies” was steep. The terminology was bizarre, featuring terms like umbo (a central hump) and squamulose (having small scales), and the sheer number of species that I found in the study plots was initially overwhelming. I quickly realized that making spore prints would be a valuable tool for identification. Using a large piece of glass and plastic drinking cups, I left mushroom caps gill or pore side down overnight to shed their spores, yielding some lovely spore “prints” on the glass below them. These ranged in color from pure white to rusty brown. Once I started making spore prints and gaining more familiarity with the common species, identifying species became like a puzzle, putting the various pieces of information together yielded a genus or species. Crumbly flesh, white spores, red cap probably a Russula species. Basal bulb and veil probably an Amanita.

Amanita specimen.

Amanita specimen.

Spore print.

Spore print.

This first part of the summer was fairly quiet in terms of mushroom diversity, but around mid July the tame, small surveys I had been taking suddenly changed. Rain is a major determinant of fungal fruiting and the wet summer contributed to a massive fruiting. Instead of collecting 20 fruiting bodies per survey I was collecting 92, and sometimes they were very wet and slimy. It was around this time that I became familiar with the smell of rotting mushrooms, which is often very similar to the smell of rotting fish. Some of my samples were also infested with small invertebrates, like springtails, maggot-like worms and slugs. I was convinced on more than one occasion that I was going cause a lab infestation!

It was also around this time that I began to find some interesting and beautiful fruiting bodies. It was exciting to find unusual new species yet to occur in my surveys: coral fungi with delicate branches, small brain-like mushrooms, big colorful boletes that turned bright blue when damaged and Lactarius species that gushed latex when cut.

Lactarius specimen.

Lactarius specimen.

Spathularia velutipes.

Spathularia velutipes.

Ultimately my surveys revealed that the Birch and Hemlock did not differ in terms of overall species richness in the early- to mid-summer. This finding does not mean, however, that some macrofungi species are not dependent on Hemlock or Birch. In the fall semester, I plan to examine the frequencies with which abundant fungi species occur in Hemlock and Birch plots.

-Aliza Fassler is a sophomore student considering a major in Biology. She is originally from Greenfield, MA and loves being outside (even in the winter). Aliza is excited to continue working in the Bellemare lab this fall.

Cook Your Own – with Produce from the Smith Garden

29 Aug

[This is one in a series of posts by Junzhou Liu, ’17 about her experience as garden manager for the student-run Smith Community Garden and intern for the Botanic Garden this summer.]

This summer I held farms stand for seven times in front of Chapin House. When people bought the produce I had grown and collected, I asked them to share their names, nationalities (state of origin if they are American) and their email addresses. I tried to collect the ways people cook the produce from the Smith Community Garden and see whether they may have different cooking methods due to their different cultural background or customs. Here are some of the photos they sent me back.

Bluebs_bowl
Blueberries from Naomi

Naomi is a Smithie from Pennsylvania. This summer, she is a part-time intern with Polly, a botanic garden faculty. Her way of eating blueberries is to have them fresh.

Michelle
Raspberries from Michelle

Michelle is a Smith alumna from Singapore. Her way of enjoy raspberries is to mix them fresh into a self-made raspberry yogurt.

SwissChard
Swiss chard from Mrs. S.

Mrs. S. is a Smith faculty member. She first sauteed the chard stems with olive oil and garlic for approximately five minutes, and then added the chard leaves for a few minutes just until they wilted. She also added a little lemon juice and parmesan cheese on top.

Chard2
Chard dish from Fiona

Fiona is a current Smithie. She cooked the chards with olive oil, garlic, and salt. She enjoyed her chard dish along with quinoa, pinto beans, salsa and corn tortilla for dinner. She also cooked the stem and leaf parts separately.

currant jelly
Red currant cherry jelly from Christine

Christine is a Smith alumna. She is an American but her mother side of the family comes from Germany. She made jelly from the red currant cherries from the Smith community garden, just  one week before all the berries were “stolen” by the hungry birds.

mustard
Mustard mix dish from Junzhou

Junzhou is a Smithie from China. She boiled the stem and leaf parts together with hot water. She added salt and garlic after boiling the mustard mix. Her usual way to cook loose greens is to either stir-fry them or boil them.

-Junzhou is a rising sophomore and a potential biochemistry major and economics minor originally from Beijing, China. This academic year Junzhou is moving from Park House, where she spent her first year, to Hopkins House, where she hopes to continue to meet new people and enjoy making and eating food from different cultures with them.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 596 other followers