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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

    Caught in the ACT

    <ong>Students Harvest Squash for Foodshelf

    The local Northfield foodshelf is similar to nearly any foodshelf you would find across the United States. Walking down the aisle you’ll find shelves full of dry goods, stacks of canned fruit and vegetables, and many boxes of pasta. Of course, a generous helping of Malt-O-Meal cereal might set the Northfield foodshelf apart, but this week, the foodshelf will have a fresh twist: local, organic produce thanks to the work of Carleton students. Over the weekend, six Carleton students went to Big Woods Farm to harvest food for the local Northfield foodshelf. The farm, an organic CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), is owned by biology professor David Hougen-Eitzman and his wife Laurie. Working alongside David, Laurie, and their two children, the students harvested over 1,200 pounds of acorn squash. The students delivered 928 pounds of their delicious bounty to the Northfield foodshelf on Tuesday for immediate distribution.

    Volunteer coordinator Dia Davis shared her thoughts on the harvest:

    “I believe that gleaning vegetables is one of the most overlooked ways to connect poor people with good food. Talk to any farmer and they are bound to tell you that a surprising amount of food stays in the field because of overly plentiful crops and vegetables not meeting market grade because of blemishes. This is where a few students with a couple of hours on hand can make a huge difference.”

    While the Northfield foodshelf is a happy recipient for the fresh produce, they are not equipped with enough refrigerator or freezer space to store any excess squash. Any squash not distributed in Northfield will head to Faribault for their foodshelf.

    “One of the things that I wish could be improved about the food shelf system here in Northfield and in many other places nationwide is their lack of storage space,” commented Dia, “We are able to store the squash in the basement of farm house between Saturday and Tuesday, but many people who might want to glean do not have the time or space to do this.”

    Despite limitations on storage space, the squash harvest was a huge success, providing local, organic food to low-income Northfield residents. Satisfied with a harvest well-done, the students who participated are hoping to make it a yearly event.

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