For the second year in a row, students at California Lutheran University will learn where their food comes from and how to eat sustainably through the SEEd Garden and Green Club’s Garden to Table Banquet event. The experience will run through April.
“Those who participate will learn about the whole process [of] what it takes to feed yourself, being appreciative of the food you have on the table, as well as walking away with a cool plate…just seeing the whole process from start to end, from cradle to grave,” said junior and banquet coordinator Asia Moore.
Moore works in the SEEd Garden and is a member of Green Club. The SEEd garden is an on-campus garden that teaches sustainable, edible education and the importance of locally sourced produce to the Cal Lutheran community, according to the university website.
The six-part workshop includes making a plate from clay, glazing it, participating in a poetry workshop and attending a banquet at the SEEd Garden. Moore said those who did not make a plate can choose to attend any of the workshops and the final banquet. The celebration banquet will be on Thursday, April 11 from 5:15 to 7:30 p.m. at the SEEd Garden.
Students kicked off the series March 7-8 by crafting and decorating a clay plate in the ceramics room of the William Rolland Art Center. Junior Matthew Leong said he participated because he wanted to try pottery and “do something new.”
“I think doing a program like this, making your own plate and recycling the unused clay for the next batch, is very resourceful. Also, I think the SEEd Garden is a cool opportunity that we can grow plants, fruits and vegetables here on campus and then eat it,” Leong said.
All food will be sourced from either the SEEd Garden on campus or local farmer’s markets, Moore said. Students can expect to eat homemade pizza from the pizza oven in the SEEd garden, jackfruit tacos, a selection of dips and more. Extra plates are being made for students who may have missed the opportunity last week.
Sophomore Sandy Nguyen said after attending the event last year and feeling “a sense of community,” she and her friend planned to participate again to continue the tradition. Nguyen said a lot of her friends asked about the plate she made last year.
Moore said one of the goals of the event is to teach students where their food comes from and how it make its way from the garden to the table, as the event name suggests.
“I think students will have an understanding on a deeper level of where food comes from, the effort and the time it takes…and a sense of sustainability because being sustainable is learning what resources go into something and how you’re contributing,” Moore said.
As a biology major and chemistry minor, Moore said her knowledge of the effects of climate change should push more people to “try and do something that would have an impact on the environment.”
Moore said she wants students to take pride in making and decorating their artwork, as it is unique to them and not commercialized.
“My intention is to be like, ‘There’s [plant-based food] out there that you should try. If you like it, cool—if you don’t, that’s totally fine,” Moore said.
The next workshop in the Garden to Table series is the poetry session on March 12. Nguyen said it was her favorite part of last year’s event.
Students will glaze their handmade plates March 19-20 in the art center in preparation for the banquet April 11.
For more information about the event, students can visit the HUB calendar on the Cal Lutheran website.