Wednesday, April 22, 2015

By Hannah Wolf, Nutrition and EcoGastronomy at UNH
"Studying abroad in Dijon, France for the EcoGastronomy program has proven to be one of the most amazing experiences of my college career. My time in Europe has been eye-opening, breath taking, and at some moments, even challenging. Though I always knew majoring in Dietetics was the right path for me, I felt as though I needed something more. The EcoGastronomy dual major was exactly what I was looking for. The program involves everything I am passionate about, including sustainability and the awareness of not just what is on your plate, but more importantly, where it comes from.
Though the courses have taught me so much about viticulture, entrepreneurship, and French culture, I think that most of what I’ve learned has come from outside of the classroom. The other EcoG students and I have had the opportunity to go on amazing field trips to major wine and food producing regions around France, including Burgundy, Beaujolais, Jura, and Champagne. On each field trip, we would start the day first thing in the morning, as the eight of us, along with a few of our professors, climbed aboard a coach bus to drive to the day’s first destination. 
For example, our trip around Burgundy began with a stop at the Gaugry cheese factory, where we enjoyed a nice “breakfast” of various cheeses with bread, of course, complemented by wine. Next, we made our way to L’Or des Valois, where we had the unique experience of heading out to the fields to watch the specially trained dogs hunt for their famous truffles. The main event of each field trip included a wine tasting specific to each region, accompanied with a tour of the vineyard plot on which the wine was grown. I personally really enjoyed the wine tasting in Pommard, Burgundy, where we tasted wines as old as 1959 straight from the wine producer’s cellar. 
I am lucky enough to share this experience with seven other EcoG students from UNH, as well as the many international friends I’ve made along the way. 
Some of the best friendships I’ve made are with these three girls; (from left) Lexie, Marlee, and Katie have been my main travel companions throughout my study abroad experience. While we began this trip having never met, besides unknowingly passing by each other at UNH, we are leaving Europe with many memories and a friendship that will last a lifetime. We took advantage of our long weekends and Spring break to hop on trains and planes to various destinations around Europe. We spent ten days traveling through Italy, starting from Rome and making our way up to Florence, Venice, and Milan. We booked a cheap (and surprisingly not too sketchy) trip to Ireland where we enjoyed plenty of Guinness and even woke up in time to catch a bus to the Cliffs of Moher. We’ve also spent quite some time traveling through France, visiting Leon, Paris, and my personal favorite, Nice.
As my final days in Dijon are approaching, I have been trying to soak up each day and admire how different my daily life is here compared to the U.S. It is nearly impossible to describe this experience in a few simple paragraphs, but I am excited to bring with me all that I’ve learned abroad as I venture back home."
Dr Benoît LECAT

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Catching up with Chrissy Wolf '14, EcoGastronomy and Recreation Management and Policy, she writes:

I am living in Jackson, Wyoming and working as a Barista at our local bagel shop, "Pearl Street Bagels". 
We boil and bake our bagels in house, continuously throughout the morning and early afternoon.
We are known for not toasting our bagels, but when you get one fresh out of the oven, there is nothing better.
We also make delicious coffee drinks, soups, salads, smoothies, etc.  

I am also volunteering one day a week with Hole Food Rescue, a local non-profit organization whose mission is "to decrease food waste while increasing the level of nutrition for low-income, at-risk individuals of Jackson, WY." So basically, volunteers go around town to the grocery stores and bakeries who are throwing out products, perishable or not due to minor product imperfections, expiration dates, etc. We bring it all to our "hub" and weigh and organize products. After it is brought back to the hub and organized, it is then redistributed to local organizations in need.  HFR is 100% volunteer run.  I bring food once a week to the Senior Center and have so far, since January, "rescued" over 1,000 lbs of food.  There are over 50 people involved. This summer I will be "barista-ing" as well as volunteering for Hole Food Rescue, and working for Cosmic Apple Gardens out of Victor, Idaho (the other side of Teton Pass).
 I will be a CSA Distribution person; in other words, I help set up the CSA pick up and give CSA members advice on how to cook their share for the week. 
In return I will be receiving a half share every week. Not a bad gig!  Unfortunately the farm gigs are slim out here due to the short growing season. but this is a step in the right direction and a way to still be involved and get local veggies into my diet.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

 Sarah Jamieson '11, EcoG & Environmental & Resource Economics  Over the past three years I’ve had some interesting jobs, covered LOTS of miles, and inevitably encountered some disappointment as well.  All in all, pursuing my interests related to EcoG continues to create an exciting, albeit curvy, life path. AmeriCorps No Kid Hungry for the Montana state government in the capital, Helena.
Jewell Towne Vineyards,   South Hampton, NH Internship outside with the vines all day, learning about wine, selling at farmer’s markets, and working in their tasting room After I amassed a small amount of savings.  Two girlfriends and I decided we needed a change… Our one year working-holiday visas for Australia cost us each about $400 and were approved over the course of a weekend.  We arrived in South Australia mid-December of 2013 at the hobby farm of some family friends.  What followed was a mix of adventure, turmoil, and reconciliation – truly an experience we will never forget.  Rainy photo of Brad and I, Wineglass Bay, TasmaniaAfter covering a distance of over 25,000kms in our trusty Ute (truck), picking flowers, cleaning houseboats, and working in pubs; I met some truly lovely people and experienced breathtaking views.  I even fell for a hunky Aussie dairy farmer who’s coming to visit this month  In the meantime,  I’ve been back waitressing seasonally to earn some money for more travel.   Visa is already approved ;)
So.. even though you prospective EcoGers haven’t met me – my advice to you would be to follow your interests, work hard to plan and achieve the things you set out to do, don’t be discouraged with disappointments and very importantly, stay financially sound.  You don’t have to make a lot of money, but you sure need some. 
Shoot me an email at sejnh15@hotmail.comanytime to say hi and good luck to all of you!
Cheers mates!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Article courtesy of Eleni Ottaglini.Students in the Introduction to EcoGastronomy class stepped outside of the classroom on Wednesday, March 25th and Thursday March 26th for an optional high tunnel tour. This is the first year students in the class were given the opportunity to tour the facility as a hands-on activity. Experiential activities are a required part of the Intro to EcoG class, and the tour was definitely a success.  The  peer-to-peer interaction made it a different learning experience for students.            The high tunnels on campus are located by the Fairchild Dairy Center. They were built a few years ago, with funding supplied by Dining Services in order to have fresh, local and sustainably grown produce available year round at the UNH Dairy Bar, catering events and dining halls.              Students from the SAFS 679 and 680*class have a unique learning opportunity in the classroom and outside by running the high tunnels with the guidance from their professor, Andrew Ogden and teacher’s assistant, Ross MacKeil. EcoGastronomy students were given the opportunity to learn about what these students do and all aspects of the high tunnels.  Ross and a few students from the class helped to lead one-hour tours that included how the high tunnels were started, the purpose, benefits, challenges, sustainable growing methods, varieties grown and a description of the SAFS class.
 It is important students see the exceptional opportunities this university has to offer to them outside of the classroom. These tours definitely expanded knowledge for students on EcoGastronomy principles and possible experiences they may want to take part in during their time at the university.
 *Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems major courses: SAFS 679 and SAFS 680, Food Production Field Experience: This two-course series is offered in Spring (SAFS 679) and Fall (SAFS 680) and provides students with hands-on experience in growing food and managing a small farm business. Through part of the Farm-to-YouNH project, students grow fresh vegetables and fruits on campus for UNH Dining Services (NHAES/COLSA high tunnels - NH Agricultural Experiment Station/College of Life Sciences and Agriculture).