Mount Allison University has taken eating local to a whole new level.
This year the university turned some previously unused land into a farm in a pilot project with bountiful results. Between 30,000-35,000 pounds of potatoes and other vegetables were harvested from the farm and are being served in the university's dining hall.
Mount Allison marked this occasion with Local Food Day on Tuesday, Oct. 4. All food at Jennings Hall was local (Maritime region) and marked accordingly.
The event also included information displays from many of Mount Allison's local food providers including Belliveau Orchards and ADL Cheese of PEI. Approximately 40 per cent of food served on the Mount Allison campus is purchased from suppliers in the Maritime region.
"We are so pleased with the results from the Mount Allison Farm project in its pilot year," says Michelle Strain, the university's director of administrative services.
Heidi Goodine, a Mount Allison student who worked on the farm this past summer says, "Working on the Mount Allison Farm has been a rewarding experience. Working literally from the ground-up with limited start-up materials, we have managed to create an admirable crop. Weather has been the biggest challenge. However, in terms of education, it has been a great season for the farm where we now know what crops will work best for next year."
The Mount Allison Farm, located just four blocks from campus, is on a 24-acre plot of previously unused land. Two acres were farmed in the first year with plans to expand in coming years. Crops included five varieties of potatoes, turnips and lettuce, as well a separate organic garden and herb garden.
While most of the harvest is being used in Jennings Dining Hall, the Mount Allison Farm will be holding potato u-picks for the public at the farm throughout the fall.
The u-picks will be open on Saturdays (Oct. 1 and Oct. 15) from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. The farm is located at 149 York Street in Sackville.