Category Archives: Gardening Education

Food Waste Prevention at Missouri State University

This article was provided by Missouri State University’s Sustainability Blog.

November is Food Waste Prevention month at Missouri State University!

We all love food. We all have to have food. So why don’t eat everything we buy? An astounding 50% of food ends up in the trash. Think of the amount of food you’ve thrown out in one day, one week, or one month. Now think of the amount of food that growers and retailers throw out. The amount of food that is wasted is tremendous, but there are ways to reduce our food waste.

In honor of Food Waste Prevention month, there are several events happening on campus:

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  • Just Eat It, a food waste documentary, will be shown in the PSU Theater on Thursday, November 5th at 6 PM. This film follows food from the farm, to retailer, to the back of the fridge and reveals how much food is wasted along the way. More information about the event can be found on the Facebook event page.

 

  • compost-pile squareA hands-on composting workshop, hosted by Sustainable by Nature, will take place at the MSU Campus Garden on Thursday, November 12th. Attend one of the three, thirty-minute sessions at 3:30, 4:00, or 4:30 p.m. to learn all of the elements it takes to make great compost. For more information, visit the event page on Facebook.

 

  • MSU Sustainability is holding a social media contest with weekly prizes from Farmer’s Market of the Ozarks, Homegrown Foods, Farmers Gastropub and more! Post pictures to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to show us how you are reducing food waste throughout the month. Tag photos with #LoveFoodNotWaste and @MSUsustain.

Throughout the year there are numerous ways to reduce your food waste and help out others who may be facing food scarcity. The Springfield area is home to many great farmers markets, some are even open year round, that make buying local and buying more fresh produce easy. Donating food is another great way to have a positive impact; Ozarks Food Harvest is one organization that is working to rescue food and get it to those in need in our community. Try your hand at growing your own food, whether at home or at MSU Campus Garden, and then learn about proper long term storage, such as canning. Finally, don’t forget to compost your food scraps into a useful resource. For more tips and resources to help you reduce food waste, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This November, challenge yourself to reduce the amount of food you waste and support your community by buying local and donating food!

The Glean Team Harvested More Than Two Tons of Fresh Produce

Victory Garden corn 080614 (7)The new “Glean Team” is part of Ozarks Food Harvest’s goal to distribute more healthy food to area pantries.

Ozarks Food Harvest volunteers have been harvesting fresh produce for community members in need this summer as a part of OFH’s new “Glean Team,” and The Food Bank is in need of more individuals to donate their time in fields and gardens around the Ozarks.

“Our volunteers have been coordinating the garden at Glendale High School, while school’s out, and in exchange, we’re able to harvest hundreds of pounds of produce for our area food pantries,” said Christy Claybaker, community engagement coordinator at Ozarks Food Harvest. “Because of our success there, we’ve started a Glean Team, so that more volunteers can help harvest produce from other area gardens that would like to get involved in our hunger-relief efforts.”

The OFH Glean Team is a group of volunteers who rescue produce from community gardens, urban landscapes, farms and orchards that might have otherwise gone to waste. It’s a new partnership with Harvest On Wheels, Springfield Urban Agriculture Coalition and Springfield Community Gardens.

Fassnight June 27 2014 (8)Fassnight Creek Farm allowed Ozarks Food Harvest volunteers to glean its fields three times so far this summer. On June 27, about a half dozen volunteers harvested 575 pounds of green beans and squash, and on July 17, high school leadership seniors harvested another 569 pounds of potatoes and lettuce. On July 30, volunteers harvested another 484 pounds of green beans and corn.

Stanley Gardens invited the Glean Team out to glean green beans on July 22 and 23. Volunteers harvested 338 pounds during those two sessions.

The Victory Garden managed by the Second Baptist Church heard about the Glean Team and invited volunteers out to harvest 2,016 pounds of corn on August 6.

Produce harvested goes to The Food Bank which serves its network of 200 pantries and programs across 28 counties. The Food Bank distributes 15 million pounds of food annually and more than 20 percent is fresh produce—double the amount of produce distributed two years ago.

001Volunteers should apply at ozarksfoodharvest.org/volunteer and designate gardening as an interest. The current schedule is set for Wednesday mornings from 8–9:30 a.m. and Thursday evenings from 6–7:30 p.m., through Oct. 31. To learn more about volunteering, contact Jo Thompson at (417) 865-3411. Farmer partners wishing to donate fields and gardens for gleaning should contact Christy Claybaker at (417) 865-3411.