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Augsburg Local Salad Team presents their Fall Harvest Salad!

 

Our seasonal salad: a quinoa base with kale, spinach, apples, sweet potatoes, and fried parsnips.
Fall Harvest Salad

The Augsburg Local Salad Team and Dining Services are excited to share delicious student-designed, locally-sourced salads with the Augsburg community!

Salads will be available at The Commons and Kafeega November 9th, 16th, and 17th + during Late Night Breakfast and at Kafeega only on November 13th 12-1pm (+ more dates to come).

 

 

Tenzin Rabga chopping sweet potatoes during an R&D session in the Food Lab
Tenzin Rabga (’23)

The Fall Harvest Salad being featured this season by Dining Services highlights the best of this time of year. A quinoa base is tossed with kale and spinach, chopped Minnesota apples, and roasted sweet potatoes, which are garnished with fried parsnips and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and then finished with a sweet + spicy dressing. Tenzin Rabga and Malachi Owens are the creatives behind this particular salad and intentionally thought through their seasonal produce choices, sweet-spicy flavor combinations, and inviting crunch that all come together nicely for a satisfying meal. “When making this salad, there were many things I considered, not just my cultural connection because I also wanted my salad to be very inclusive and open to people’s cravings in winter: sweet, hearty, and slightly spicy.” -Tenzin Rabga

 

The Fall Harvest Salad not only satisfies as a fresh, seasonal meal, but it also uplifts the best of Augsburg and its community. As an anchor institution, Augsburg is committed to contributing to the health, safety, and vitality of the community of which we are a part. In 2020, the Sabo Center for Citizenship and Democracy launched the Augsburg Local campaign to mobilize institutional resources in ways that build strong, mutually beneficial community partnerships and respond to community needs and opportunities. By leveraging Augsburg’s economic resources in the form of purchasing and investment dollars, we can build a stronger, more sustainable local economy in a variety of ways. 

Augsburg Local logo

For example, over 75% of the produce and protein ingredients in the Fall Harvest Salad were purchased locally. This was one of the directives requested by the salads’ creators. The kale and sweet potatoes you’ll enjoy were supplied by The Good Acre, a Twin Cities food hub that partners with emerging farmers, many BIPOC, who grow a variety of crops, promoting biodiversity. Of course the apples were grown in Minnesota, since our state can boast of so many varieties from sweet to tart, crisp to ones perfect for pie – and salads! These apples were supplied by Minnesota-based distributor, Bix, which has a special selection of locally-grown products. The parsnips, coming to you in the form of a chip garnish, were sourced from the Wisconsin Growers’ Cooperative via our neighborhood grocery store, the Seward Coop. And even the honey and Hope Creamery butter were Minnesota produced! Ames Farm honey is single source, meaning that it can be traced back to a hive and floral source, “making it unique to a specific time and place in Minnesota.” You can’t get more local than that! 

The Salad Project was born out of Augsburg Local’s co-creative work with students who wanted to drive this transformational social change initiative. Thanks to an Institutional Innovation Grant from the Office of the University President, the Salad Team has been working tirelessly with Dining Services since the beginning of the summer to create salad recipes that satisfy a set of goals oftentimes at odds with one another: 

  • Salads that taste good and students will want to eat.
  • Salads that feature ingredients seasonal to Minnesota and can be locally-sourced.
  • Salads that reflect the tastes, cultures, and identities of their creators.
  • Salads that are cost-effective for Dining Services to produce and the Augsburg community to purchase.

Logos of: Campus Kitchen, Augsburg Dining Services, Pillsbury United Communities, Environmental Stewardship Committee, The Good Acre, Roots for the Hometeam

Thankfully the team had support from the local nonprofit, Roots for the Hometeam and youth from Pillsbury United’s Waite House. They and other high school youth in Twin Cities garden programs sell their student-developed, locally-sourced salads at Twins’ games (and beyond!). The Salad Project Team also relied heavily on the expertise and support of Augsburg’s Dining Services staff to fine-tune their recipes, think creatively about flavor profiles, and partner in the tedious work of serving these salads at-scale in The Commons and Kafeega. These lessons from our partners fed our fun, interactive research and development sessions in Augsburg’s own Food Lab (Hagfors 108). In these sessions, we worked in small teams, divided based on season, to explore flavors, experiment with ingredients, and learn about food preparation techniques.

Grace preparing chicken for her Bodo Indian Green Salad
Grace Koch Muchahary (’23)

 

Here’s Grace Koch Muchahary’s take on the process: “We practiced in teams to get all the details and be confident about our salad ingredients before we presented them to the chefs from Augsburg’s Dining services. We were really happy to get an opportunity to present our summer and winter salads. It was a really good experience to make our own recipes and share them with others – and now with the entire Augsburg community! We had the challenge to reach each of our goals, but having the salad-making sessions before this final day helped a lot to see the process. It was really fun to work closely with the project team members and to support one another.”

 

 

Enjoy the salads!

The Salad Team: Grace Koch Muchahary, Tenzin Rabga, Malachi Owens, Zoe Barany, Reginald Oblitely, Gigi Huerta Herrera, Alyssa Parkhurst, Natalie Jacobson, and Monica McDaniel

Cultivating Community: Augsburg’s Community Garden

Ten people in diverse garb sit on the edges of raised garden beds or at tables. Some are eating food, others are looking ahead with attentive gazes.
Gardeners gather for a meal and storytelling event in the garden.

Gazing out the west-facing upper windows of the Hagfors Center on Augsburg’s campus, you can’t miss benches, paths, and raised beds of Augsburg’s community garden. While the garden on the edge of campus has been cultivated since 2008, when the plans for the Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion got underway, there was a distinct opportunity to preserve and re-imagine this unique community garden space. With support from the Medtronic Community Foundation, design guidance from O2 Design, and community-based input, the garden was rebuilt to make the space more accessible, inclusive, and visible. 

Throughout the design process for the new garden space, gardeners and Augsburg staff centered the enduring principles and goals for this vital community connection space: grow food, build relationships, and learn together. Two young people converse while sitting on the edge of a raised bed in the garden.The garden now has wider and defined pathways, clear plot boundaries, and a variety of raised and in-ground beds. 

The re-designed garden just finished its second season of production. With over sixty individual plots and communal growing space cultivated by residents of Cedar-Riverside and Augsburg staff, faculty, and students, the newly rebuilt garden is continuing to offer a place for learning and building community. 

About half of the members of Augsburg’s community garden are neighbors in Cedar-Riverside and Seward (six have a view of the garden from their homes across the street!), and about half are Augsburg staff, faculty, and students. Student groups, such as Hmong Women Together and the Augsburg Indigenous Student Association, tend portions of the communal gardening areas, and about ten students from TRIO Summer Bridge spent time learning in the garden over the 2019 growing season.

Individual gardeners are not the only people to utilize the garden; this fall, several professors teaching classes focused on food and sustainability are also capitalizing on the presence of the garden. From a history of food class, to a course on environmental connections to food, a chemistry AugSem, and a science of food and cooking class: the garden has increasingly become a laboratory for classroom learning on wide-ranging subjects related to growing and consuming food. Other classes utilize the garden in less formal ways, perhaps holding a class outside by The Loveliest of Trees, or sending students out for discussion as they walk the garden paths.

Natalie Jacobson and Allyson Green enjoy conversation in the garden. Another individual is in the foreground wearing a red backpack, their back turned to the camera.
Campus Kitchen Coordinator Natalie Jacobson (left) and Chief Sustainability Officer Allyson Green (right) enjoy conversation at a garden event.

During the summer and fall of 2019, the garden began to utilize the Food Lab space in the Hagfors Center for potlucks and food preparation. Chief Sustainability Officer Allyson Green, who oversees the garden, remarked that the first session of gardeners gathering in the food lab over the summer was the highlight of the season; people got to know one another and shared cooking techniques and conversation as they made sambusas. This season also saw a student-led storytelling event in partnership with Mixed Blood Theater and food activist, LaDonna Redmond. As gardeners and others are living into the new space, opportunities for connecting and learning with and from each other are growing alongside the vegetables. 

One challenge with the garden rebuild was impacted soil in the in-ground beds due to construction equipment. After the garden was initially built, gardeners were having a difficult time cultivating healthy root systems for their plants, requiring that all of the in-ground beds be dug up and the soil turned. Thankfully, dozens of students, several classes, and a few athletic teams answered the call, picking up shovels and making quick work of the beds that required turning.

When asked about how the garden fits into the overall sustainability commitments of Augsburg, Allyson noted that the garden is a visible demonstration of Augsburg’s commitment to caring for the place where Augsburg is located. By tending to our natural environment and building a place for community building, food access, and learning, the garden is an important aspect of Augsburg’s place-based and anchor institution work. 

An aerial view of the Augsburg Community Garden. A table in the foreground has food on it, and people are lining up to serve themselves.Allyson also noted her hopes for the garden. With twenty-five people on the waiting list, she hopes that the garden can continue to be a vital place on-campus for learning and relationship building that contributes to the well-being of the whole community. She dreams that the garden might be a model for cooperation and learning that can spread to other areas of campus, and even to other communities! 

As a space that requires the cooperation of dozens of people who all have different ideas about ways of growing food, habits of organization and storage, and different cultures, personalities, and life stories, the garden is a unique place for experimentation, building community amongst difference, and finding a middle ground. Here’s to a successful growing season and many more to come!

You can eat processed meats and red meats, but can you digest cancer?

As a way to further reflect on their experience with Campus Cupboard, polish their communication skills, and explore new topics related to food and sustainability, Campus Cupboard volunteers will be publishing weekly blogs this fall. Check back each week for new musings from the students!

By: Oscar-Martinez-Armenta (’16)

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an intergovernmental agency forming part of the World Health Organization (WHO), recently served us a mouthful. On Monday, October 26, the IARC reported that processed meats and red meats are linked to cancer.

After analyzing 800 scientific studies, the IARC categorized processed meats as a Group 1 Carcinogenic. Under this category, “there is enough evidence to conclude that it can cause cancer in humans.” Red meats were placed in Group 2A, which means that there is probable cause of cancer, but the evidence is inconclusive.

Processed meats are those altered through methods like salting, curing, and fermentation. Bacon, ham, and sausage are prime examples. Eating 50 grams per day of these meats can increase the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. Continue reading “You can eat processed meats and red meats, but can you digest cancer?”

My Passion for New Adventures

As a way to further reflect on their experience with Campus Cupboard, polish their communication skills, and explore new topics related to food and sustainability, Campus Cupboard volunteers will be publishing weekly blogs this fall. Below, Malia kicks off the “Food and Sustainability Series” by exploring new food adventures. Check back each Monday for new musings from the students!

By Malia Thao (’16)

Living in a big and dynamic world, I have a strong passion to travel across the globe, for new adventures and to learn more about the various cultures out there. Food is always a big part of that learning.

Last semester, I was fortunate enough to studied abroad in two countries: El Salvador for a short term winter break, and South Korea for a semester long. Both of these international experiences were wonderful and awesome learning abroad experiences. The biggest highlight of everything was the authentic foods from these places. One of my favorite foods in El Salvador was Pupusa which is a thick tortilla bread stuffed with a bean paste. On the other side, my favorite food in South Korea was Kimbap and Dakbokki. Kimbap, is a steamed rice wrapped with all kinds of vegetables and Dakbokki is a spicy rice cake stew. Just thinking about these foods makes me really want to go back to visit El Salvador and South Korea. Continue reading “My Passion for New Adventures”

Biodiesel: Fueling an Open Mind

As a way to further reflect on their experience with Campus Cupboard, polish their communication skills, and explore new topics related to food and sustainability, Campus Cupboard volunteers will be publishing weekly blogs this fall. Below, Oscar kicks off the “Food and Sustainability Series” with a topic he has been interested in learning more about. Check back each Monday for new musings from the students!

By Oscar Martinez (’16)

Last year, Minnesota increased the mandate from a 5 percent minimal biodiesel blend (B5) in its diesel fuel supply to B10. The shift occurred because biodiesel has demonstrated substantial reduction in particulate and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As the statue currently reads, Minnesota will be raising to B20 by 2018.

Biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning substance made from oils and natural fats (e.g., soybean oil, and animal fats) that is reducing dependence of fossil fuels. If I was in the same mindset that I had been in three years ago and listened to these statements, I would be asking why the state is not aiming for higher biodiesel blends. Luckily (or maybe not), playing the scientist in college has opened my mind. Through lecture, lab research, and discussion, I have found that biodiesel and other renewable energy sources are not 100% practical. Continue reading “Biodiesel: Fueling an Open Mind”