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by Dayna Burtness, Midwest Fellow Every time I visit a student-run farm during my travels as a Foundation Fellow, I'm always inspired by the hard-working student farmers and BAMCO chefs that support them by buying the students' ultra-local produce.  I visited two farms last week in Northfield, MN that were no exception: STOGROW Farm at St. Olaf College and the Carleton Student Farm at Carleton College. STOGROW Farm My first stop of the beautiful, HOT Minnesota day was to visit the STOGROW farmers on the outskirts of the St. Olaf campus. I love visiting all student farms, but I have a special place in my heart for STOGROW since I helped co-found it back in 2005.  Two of the four student farmers, Joey and Elizabeth, were rushing to finish harvesting heirloom tomatoes, summer squash, and eggplant before the Bon Appétit […]

From  left: Alaska Native elders cure salmon in a traditional smokehouse; In Bristol Bay, salmon is on the menu – with a side of conservation messaging. It’s the time of year when wild salmon migrate from the ocean to freshwater rivers and lakes to spawn. After seagoing journeys that span tens of thousands of miles and last several years, wild salmon use their amazing sense of smell to find the precise place where they were born. It’s here that they lay and fertilize eggs and begin a new cycle of life. Few places are left on the planet where wild salmon still thrive. But Bristol Bay, in Southwest Alaska, is one of them and that’s where Bon Appétit Management Company chef Helene Kennan is headed this week. Bristol Bay produces the world’s largest sockeye salmon population and is a carefully […]

Instead of a beef burger, try this Rosemary Chicken Burger with Sun-Dried Tomato Aïoli. Click here for the recipe. In this article about chefs reducing the carbon impact of the food they serve, the Seattle Times features the creativity and dedication of BAMCO chefs in the Pacific Northwest preparing and serving food in accordance with our Low Carbon Diet. In the words of Buzz Hofford, General Manager at Seattle University, "Everybody who comes to get a cheeseburger learns what its impact is. They can think about their choices and eat responsibly – personal health and the environmental cost."

Clockwise from top left: David and two full-time garden employees, Meyse Ztem and Meyse BeBe, in the garden; the view from the mayor of Petit Riviera's 'backyard'; David's friend and cook, Celena, prepares Sunday dinner in her kitchen with Meekail. In his last post from Haiti, David reflects on the great work he's accomplished over the past two months – both in the garden and in the greater community.  Good afternoon everyone and Komon ou ye! One final update and another thank you for all of your support for Haiti.  I’ll start by telling you that the World Cup is the talk of the town.  TV’s are rare so when you do find one, there’s a huge crowd enjoying the match.  Brasil is Haiti’s team…though I like to start an argument now and again about their weak play against the […]

True or false: Eggs come from eggplants.Vegetables are grown in dirt. You may laugh at such seemingly obvious statements, but as we learn in Helene York’s latest Atlantic Food post, to many kids the answers aren’t so clear. Enter Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis of King Corn fame, who are on an inspiring mission to educate urban kids about where their food comes from with their Truck Farm (on wheels!) Read her full post at The Atlantic.  

From left: Work progresses on the garden; David and Meekail In his third post from Haiti, David updates us on the garden’s progress – no small feat considering he’s still without a tiller! David’s work extends far beyond the garden. Thanks to both his dedication, and support from community members back home, several children will receive medical care, and new desks for students at the tent city school were purchased.Good evening everyone, I hope this finds you well! Week 3 has begun and we’ve accomplished many of our goals. The road is scheduled to be finished by next Tuesday. The rock/stones are the challenge as they require all 10 of our guys to slowly haul them around. We’ll place the bags that were purchased with sea sand over these rocks for a smooth ride. It was funny, we laid about […]

Clockwise from top right: David's motorcycle, which he rides through four-feet deep streams(!); a young girl who needs surgery for polydactyly; David and his team are rebuilding an access road to Visitation Clinic Bon Appétit Management Company team member David Lachance is spending two months in Haiti building a sustainable garden to nourish the local community in Petite Riviere de Nippes, a small rural village four hours outside of Port-au-Prince. Even with severe weather – and still without his tiller – David and his team of local Haitians are making progress on the garden. Read his full update below. The mission has changed…temporarily.  The tiller has not passed through customs and there seems to be confusion about what stage it’s in…it was shipped 6 weeks ago and I’m only now starting to see the pace that things work here in […]

Left: David has been staying at this ‘tent city’ in Port-au-Prince; Right: David and his newly-hired gardeners take a break from planting an herb garden. While quake-ravaged Haiti may no longer make the front page of the newspaper every day, there’s no forgetting the acute and long-term damage wrought by January 12’s massive earthquake. Bon Appétit team member David Lachance sure hasn’t forgotten. For two months this summer, he is planting a sustainable garden on the grounds of Visitation Hospital in Petite Riviere de Nippes, a small rural village roughly four hours from the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. Working with local Haitians, David hopes to “develop, educate, document and nurture this project so that it can be a lasting benefit to the clinic and local people.”

Scenes from the fledgling BAMCO balcony garden, clockwise from top left: mixed lettuces and basil; our adopted kalamansi lime tree; strawberries, rainbow chard and heirloom collard greens We’re proud that so many of our accounts have bountiful onsite gardens that supply fresh produce to our cafés. In fact, the New York Times recently recognized our company’s sponsorship of gardens on corporate campuses. Guests at many of our corporate cafés can enjoy fresh Brussels sprouts and blueberries in the café, but this hasn’t been the case at BAMCO headquarters in Palo Alto, CA. Until now. Well soon, anyway.

In our food culture, why is 'vegetarian' often defined as the absence of meat? And why are vegetables often relegated only to meat-free dishes? At the Atlantic Food Channel, BAMCO's Helene York questions our culture's resistance to celebrating vegetables as valid ingredients in their own right, and dreams of a world in which vegetables are the deliciously described option on the menu for both children and adults. Reintroducing our menus and palates to the wide variety of vegetables could go a long way, she argues, towards better public health, a more sustainable food system and increased culinary pleasure. Read the full post here.