The Good Food Project is a student-run organization at Swarthmore College that works on sustainable food issues in our community through gardening, composting, sustainable food advocacy (Look Local!), and fair food activism.
We grow from spring to fall, with crops varying from heirloom tomatoes and thai basil, to dinosaur kale and jewel-toned beets. Our produce has been sold to local food Co-ops, our college dining hall, and donated to local anti-hunger advocates. Our goal is to educate the Swarthmore community on sustainable food production techniques, drawing on organic agriculture and permaculture design.
In collaboration with the college’s Facilities and Dining Services, our members initiated a student-run composting program. Our composting site is located behind the athletic fields, alongside Scott Arboretum’s leaf mulch and compost. A student composting manager directs a fleet of paid student workers, who transport pre-consumer food waste from Sharples Dining Hall to the composting site, and maintain the pile. Compost is ultimately transported to our garden, where it provides substantial nourishment to allow our plants to flourish.
The Look Local! campaign primarily advocates the purchase of local, organic food in the dining halls of Swarthmore College. We have networked with existing local food networks and area farmers to bring food directly from farm to college. This food has received rave reviews from students, as it is fresher and bred for taste rather than ability to survive long sea/air/land voyages. Trans- and intercontinental transport of food is a big contributor of greenhouse gases annually. As a community committed to social and environmental responsibility, the Swarthmore community must increase our reliance on food grown locally (in some of the most abundant regions on the east coast of North America).