A carload of Loomis-grown fresh produce was delivered to a local food bank on Wednesday, August 16, to share with the school's neighbors.
Gratia Lee, director of Loomis' Sustainable Agriculture Program, and two summer workjob students brought the donation of several quarts of ripe tomatoes, boxes of kale and Swiss chard, about 50 pounds of golden and regular beets, and about 25 pounds of zucchini and summer squashes to the Windsor Food Bank.
"We've had a great growing season so far this year," said Gratia. The harvest is so abundant that even after distributing a variety of fresh vegetables to faculty and staff in the school's Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, there was enough extra to make a significant donation to the food bank.
One of the main components of sustainable agriculture is waste reduction, said Gratia, so donating the perishable oversupply is a way to reduce waste and help contribute to food security in the local community.
Rising junior Ashley Chung and rising senior Sage Sutton-Hall, both of whom signed up for a summer workjob rotation in the Ag Program, helped Gratia with the delivery.
"I never worked on a farm before," said Ashley, who will be an ag-proctor – a student leader in the agriculture program – this fall. "I thought it would be a good idea to spend some time working in the gardens this summer."
Both Sage, who also worked in the Ag Program last summer, and Ashley said that they like being outside in the nice weather. They agreed that picking berries and beans is an enjoyable task, but pulling weeds is more of a chore.