Eating From the Ground Up

Eating From the Ground Up

On Nov. 2, when students gathered together for the weekly community dinner at Ehaus, one of Haverford’s community houses that is modeled on a cooperative lifestyle and is committed to environmentalist ideals, the food that was served was even more locally sourced that usual. Vegetables usually come from farms no farther than 250-miles away, but on that Thursday, they came from our very own campus.

The Haverfarm is a year-round campus farming and educational space designed to integrate sustainable food and agriculture into the academic and extracurricular lives of Haverford students, faculty, staff, and local community members. With a focus on interdisciplinary and experiential learning, the Haverfarm invites students and other members of the community to engage with issues of food justice and local, progressive agriculture. Produce is distributed to students, community members, CSA members, the Dining Center, and local food banks.

“The Haverfarm and Ehaus harvest dinner is an Ehaus Thursday dinner to celebrate the growing season at the farm and share the farm’s last large harvest before winter,” said Alison Love ‘18, a resident of Ehaus and one of the student co-heads of the Haverfarm. “The produce for the dinner comes from the Haverfarm. This was the third dinner where the two environmental student groups collaborated to host a fall harvest dinner.”

Ehaus is an intentional community space whose members strive to eat ethically, waste less, and find alternatives to environmentally damaging forms of consumption. Beyond weekly community dinners, the group also facilitates environmental education through speakers, films, workshops and discussions.

“Jahzara [Heredia ’16], the farm fellow; Malin [Ehrsam ’18], the CPGC-sponsored summer intern; the farm student interns; the farm PE class; students at open volunteer parties; CSA members; and many other helping hands from the community cared for the farm all growing season!” said Love. “Beginning last winter, when students seeded vegetables in the new Haverfarm greenhouse classroom, the farm has had one of its most abundant seasons ever and has worked with more students and community members than ever. So much weeding, digging, watering, sweat, harvesting, planting, and planning has gone into growing and learning at the farm this year—we wanted to celebrate the hard work on the farm by inviting all students to come together over Haverfarm food.”

“It was great to see new faces at this dinner,” said Sophie Drew ‘19, one of the Ehaus residents who helped prepare the meal. “I think the Haverfarm aspect of this meal brought out a new audience. It was cool to see how much our farm could yield.” (More after the gallery.)

In the days leading up to the dinner, Heredia and Haverfarm student interns harvested all of the produce for the dinner from both the main farm plot near the facilities building and the additional garden plot in HCA, according to Love. Then, members of both Ehaus and the Haverfarm prepared the produce for the dinner.

“Partnering with Ehaus is an wonderful opportunity for the Haverfarm to invite everyone to learn about the farm and enjoy fresh farm food, ” said Love. “We are grateful for the collaboration! The two student groups have many overlapping goals and dreams and I hope to work together more this spring and in years to come.”

The menu included pasta with tomato, pepper, and garlic sauce; sautéed swiss chard; arugula salad; and cilantro garlic bread. Dessert was a pumpkin pie made from pumpkins grown in the HCA garden. The only part of the meal that wasn’t grown on the farm was the apple crisp; its apples came from a local farm.

“The pumpkin pie was so yummy and it was cool knowing that it had come from the HCA garden.” said Amelia Keyser-Gibson ‘18.

Ehaus will continue to host their Thursday dinners until finals week. Come to HCA 15 with your own bowl and plate at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays if you would like to partake.

Photos by Victoria Merino ’20 and Claire Blood-Cheney ’21.

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