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Meet candidates for Garden Program Director during open lectures beginning Jan. 14

Jan 5, 2016

Three candidates will be on campus in January to interview for the new position of Garden Program Director. Members of the university community are invited to meet them during an open lecture. Specific dates, times, locations and topics found below. Candidate information and post-surveys can be accessed through the Garden Program Director Candidate Sakai site.  Other questions or inquiries can be sent to Sustainability Director, Shanna Eller, or Sustainability Coordinator, Kendra Bruno

Candidate #1:
DATE: Jan. 14, 2016. 
OPEN LECTURE: Noon - 1 p.m. in Wendell Phillips Center, WPC 123 
TOPIC: Global Gardening: The Everyday Human Genius of Household Food Production
SUMMARY: Gardening is a human universal. Everywhere in the world and throughout history, except for the very earliest phases of human existence, we can find people coaxing useful plants to grow for them. What sort of knowledge does gardening involve, and how is that knowledge acquired and shared? What kinds of meaning is attached to gardening by the people who engage in it? What can we learn when we compare how gardening is practiced around the world? In this brief lecture, we will touch upon these issues, surveying several global examples before exploring one more closely: household gardening in the Russian Arctic.

Candidate #2: 
DATE: Jan. 20, 2016
OPEN LECTURE: Noon - 1 p.m. in Wendell Phillips Center, WPC 203 
TOPIC: Integrative Food Systems from the Student Society: Growing Sustainability, Ecology and Community from our University Gardens
SUMMARY: An important aspect of agriculture and integrative food systems is the relationship that people develop by the circular interaction with their environment.  Amidst the growing concerns of a faulty industrial food system to meet the needs of our society and the environment, we have the opportunity to make new proposals. Using alternative agricultural models that our world history, cultural diversity, and local realities provide, the student society can put these tools to practice in the university campus by growing food, using ecology and making connections with the broader community as a move towards sustainability.

Candidate #3: 
DATE: Jan. 28, 2016
OPEN LECTURE: Noon - 1 p.m. in Wendell Phillips Center, WPC 123
TOPIC: Why Socrates Ate A Space Alien: Cultivating Justice and Sustainability in the Garden
SUMMARY: Modern food systems allow us to make healthier and more appetizing foods available worldwide, year-round, and at affordable prices. At the same time, those systems can become obstacles that keep consumers from connecting meaningfully to how their food is produced, distributed and prepared. As a consequence, the culinary knowledge base drawn upon in the kitchen by previous generations is gradually becoming another specialization. Thus, even in the presence of healthy food options, this "food illiteracy" can leave marginalized groups like students and low income families dependent on unhealthy, unsustainable and wasteful but familiar alternatives. This state of affairs is not merely an issue of public health; it raises challenging questions about economic fairness, climate consciousness and social justice. This talk draws on recent research in philosophy, economics and agricultural studies to illuminate the connection between these ideas and suggest what community and campus gardens can do to make a real impact.

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