Sustainable Thanksgiving, Community Effort
Nov 21, 2012
At Concordia, sustainability is a community effort. Ten different area vendors came to campus for the fourth annual 100-Mile Thanksgiving Farmers Market. The goal of the event is to encourage the community to bring foods to the holiday table that were grown or prepared within 100 miles of campus.
“At this time of year when everyone is thinking about food, we want to show people that they have access to local foods,” says Dr. Gretchen Harvey, who organizes the event.
The lineup of produce was abundant including pumpkins, squash, onions, parsnips, turnips, Brussels sprouts, apples and edible beans. There were also honey, jellies, jams, syrups, dips, chips and bread. Customers who signed up in advance also had an opportunity to buy a local free-range turkey.
Area growers appreciated helping customers prepare a locally grown and delicious Thanksgiving. Hugh Dufner, who owns Hugh’s Gardens, Halstad, Minn., is thankful for the opportunity to connect with customers and those who eat his crops. He recently began selling his organic potatoes and squash to Concordia’s Dining Services. He sees eating high-quality food as necessary for a great holiday.
“It’s good that people eat good food and pass down the tradition to their children,” he says. “There’s nothing better for health and happiness.”
The spirit of this year’s market was festive. Kids had a station for grinding wheat for their own pancake mixes. Concordia’s chef was on hand giving out samples of squash soup, and a couple of Concordia musical groups provided an ambiance of celebration.
Vendors and customers alike felt good about eating locally this Thanksgiving. Norma Bergseid of Moorhead was a first-time visitor to the 100-Mile Thanksgiving. She was excited about the squash she had purchased and is passionate about eating locally.
“I do (eat locally) because it’s fresher and tastes better,” she says.
Harvey, who is an assistant professor of history, sees the purpose of eating locally as two-fold. The first purpose is to keep dollars in the community and eat better food. The second is to practice sustainability.
“We don’t have to ship kiwi fruit from Mexico for Thanksgiving,” she says. “There is so much local bounty here.”