In this brown bag interregnum between food service providers, we have a chance to reflect on what we would most desire, our dream lunch program, our dream lunch. I offer to you my dream:
Imagine a school that grows its own organic, nutritious food on campus and brings that food, raw and cooked, to the table for students, faculty, and staff to share and enjoy together.
TGS, with its unique campus size and location, is in a perfect position to seize the opportunity to begin to think more radically about the hyper-local sourcing of its food.
The implementation of this enterprise would require design thinking at a deep level, and would demand cross-curricular, cross grade-level cooperation and collaboration.
The TGS farm would engage students not only in collaboration, but also in developing the higher order skills of creativity, critical thinking, communication, community-building, and compassion. Indeed, the farm to table program would integrate the six Cs beautifully, organically.
When fully operational, the TGS farm would be a multi-faceted teaching environment, a pedagogical ecosystem engaging students in learning about botany, nutrition science, engineering, sustainability, climate change, water management, marketing, scaling, and more.
We would hire a Head Farmer who oversees all aspects of the farm. And we would hire a chef comfortable creating menus using a blend of raw foods and healthily prepared, cooked foods, and who engages her creativity daily in the presentation of meals (Alice Waters, are you reading this?)
In terms of infrastructure needs, we have the land and water necessary to implement this vision. We will also need to raise the capital (ideally, a generous grant or philanthropic donation) to pay for significant upgrades to the kitchen and dining hall facilities.
Once the farm and kitchen are up and running, students would have the opportunity to take an elective course (one semester or all year) in any aspect of the food production and service program under the skillful guidance of the head farmer or chef. Some students might elect to work on the farm during a given block, while others might elect to work as sous chefs in the kitchen.
We would be promoting our wellness, of course, in selecting foods to grow that are highly nutritious and seasonally appropriate. We would also be significantly ramping up our personal responsibility as stewards of the land, land which, with the right care and attention, can nourish our minds, our hearts, and our bellies.
Students and faculty and staff would all look forward to lunch and frequently eat together, breaking bread as a community as a matter of routine.
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