The recently released annual report by the University of Michigan Sustainable Food Program highlights the efforts made by its members toward the group’s three core goals: producing food, furthering education, and building community.
A key accomplishment of the group was the development of a sustainable foods farm at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens. With the help of volunteers and a $42,000 grant from the Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund, UMSFP cultivated more than 700 pounds of food last summer. Following the success of the farm’s first year, the Matthaei Botanical Gardens offered the group two additional acres to expand their Campus Farm in 2013.
Other achievements made by UMSFP’s 10 member groups that further support the program’s goals inlcude:
- The Ann Arbor Student Food Co.’s initiated a program to sell fresh fruits and vegetables to students on campus.
- The Consortium on Agriculture, Food and the Environment held its first annual Sustainable Food Careers Symposium, complete with panel discussions, guest speakers and audience of more than 130 people.
- The Permaculture Design Team developed a satellite garden on campus using permaculture methodology, a branch of sustainable architecture modeled after natural ecosystems. This was achieved through a project for ENVIRON 391 course “Sustainability and The Campus.”
- The Michigan Sustainable Foods Initiative promoted using reusable drink containers on campus through their Free Thermos Giveaway initiative.
To further educate and build community in 2013, UMSFP plans to expand the classes it works with by partnering with a freshman engineering course and landscape architecture studios. The program is also working to connect students and staff to sustainability resources across the U.S. by securing space for its Sustainable Food Resource Center.
Read full annual report here: http://www.umsfp.com/images/2012_annualreport.pdf.