Archive for September, 2012

Farm to Fork Dinner

On Friday, September 21, William & Mary Dining hosted a Farm to Fork Dinner in partnership with the Williamsburg Farmer’s Market in the Sunken Garden. Students, faculty/staff, local farmers and members of the Farmer’s Market board all sat side by side for this family style dinner. The menu featured all local items purchased from the Williamsburg Farmer’s Market and Produce Source Partners who sources locally from VA farms.

The weather was perfect, the menu was amazing and melodic tones of Appalachia Band, a blue grass band, truly made this an affair to remember. Two hundred and fifty people joined William & Mary Dining’s outdoor dinner table for this unforgettable event that promoted a sense of community on campus. President Taylor Reveley even stopped by to say a few words as we dined. We hope this is an event we can do each year and if you were not able to join us on Friday, look out for our second annual Farm to Fork Dinner!

-W&M Dining

Photos courtesy of William & Mary Auxiliary Services
To see more photographs of the event, please visit the Auxiliary Services Facebook page.

September 29th, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

The Fracking of Rachel Carson, by Sandra Steingraber with Photographs by Nina Berman from Orion Magazine on Vimeo.

September 26th, 2012

Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Silent Spring

Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring is perhaps the most influential text in the history of the environmental movement. In many ways, it started the movement. Published in 1962, Carson’s book was a masterful blend of science and poetry, taking readers on a journey through water, air, soil and their own bodies in an investigation of the widely-used pesticide, DDT. DDT’s harmful effects on humans, wildlife and the environment were impossible to ignore after Silent Spring, and the book lead directly to the ban of the chemical that had once been proudly sprayed on fields, neighborhoods and even picnics:

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Silent Spring‘s publication, and it will not go unnoticed at William & Mary! The Committee on Sustainability, in conjunction with the Jefferson Program of Public Policy, Swem Library, and the Department of Environmental Science and Policy is proud to announce a celebration of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. The event will feature a PBS documentary on the life of Rachel Carson as well as a panel discussion of the work’s significance.

Faculty experts from a variety of disciplines ranging from pubilc policy to the hard sciences will discuss how Carson’s work shaped their respective disciplines. Lisa Landino, Melanie Dawson, Mark Buntaine, and Sarah Stafford will lead this half-hour panel. Following the event, we will have a brief reception to enjoy some refreshments and snacks with the faculty. We greatly look forward to the event and hope you will be able to attend!

Please contact Karen Berquist or Patrick Foley with any additional questions.

For more information about the event, visit

September 24th, 2012

Recipe: Butternut Squash Lasagna

Those of you who attended Farm to Fork Night on Friday are probably still raving about the delicious butternut squash lasagna with local goat cheese that was served at the meal. I have yet to obtain the exact recipe, but a quick internet search revealed several recipes for similar dishes.

Here’s one example, from Melissa Pellegrino at Fine Cooking. Looks like a great way to ring in Autumn!

1 large butternut squash (about 3 lb.), halved lengthwise and seeded
2 medium cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 sprigs fresh thyme plus 2 tsp. chopped leaves
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 sprigs fresh sage plus 1 tsp. chopped leaves
1-1/8 oz. (1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1-1/4 cups crumbled fresh goat cheese (4 oz.)
1 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano (2 oz.)
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup coarse dry breadcrumbs or panko
1 recipe Fresh Pasta for Lasagne

Recipe Source:

photo: Scott Phillips
From Fine Cooking 114 , pp. 52-59
October 27, 2011


September 23rd, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

September 19th, 2012

Farm to Fork Night: Friday, September 21st

This Friday, William & Mary Dining will usher in the fall season with an eight-course sustainable meal at Farm to Fork Night. The family-style dinner will be held in partnership with the Williamsburg Farmer’s Market on the Sunken Garden, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm on September 21st.

The menu will include:
Roasted Wild Mushroom Tomato Focaccia
Field Green Salad with Local Honey Vinaigrette
Hot Crab Pie with Country Ham
Savory Buffalo Chop Steak with Fall Roasted Vegetables
Free Range Roast Chicken with Local Stewed Greens & Tomatoes
Butternut Squash Lasagna (featuring Local Goat Cheese)
Assorted Breads with Whipped Fresh Butter & Jams
Roasted Apple and White Chocolate Bread Pudding.

Tickets for the feast are required, and are available in the Commons Lobby. Cash, Credit, Dining Dollars & WM Express are all accepted forms of payment. There are 300 seats available and tickets cannot be purchased at the door, so be sure to purchase yours soon!

September 18th, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Big Bad Corn

Provided by:

September 14th, 2012

Go Green at W&M

New members of the Tribe may have noticed green stickers reminding them to switch off lights, reusable take-out containers in the Caf and Sadler Center, and water-bottle filling stations on campus. They also may recognize this bag and mug:

We certainly tried our best to hand one out to every new student on campus during the orientation period!

New students may have seen these markers of sustainability on campus, but they may not know that they can get directly involved with green efforts at W&M through the Committee on Sustainability.

The Committee on Sustainability is lead by a Steering Committee of faculty, staff, students and administrators, and is made up of three subcommittees. The Science and Technology Advisory Subcommittee studies and manages the College’s ecosystem, and tackles issues like land use, greenhouse gas emissions and stormwater management. The Operations Subcommittee is responsible for developing and recommending a financial and operations plan for promoting sustainability, and includes working groups that deal with recycling and solid waste management and energy on campus. The Program and Education Subcommittee is the education arm of COS, and includes the Food Services and Education and Outreach working groups. These groups are always seeking volunteers. You can learn more about the working groups by visiting the COS website, or by contacting our Sustainability Fellow, Patrick Foley, at

COS also runs an internship program for students, the EcoAmbassador Program. Students in this program work closely with a staff or faculty member to develop a sustainability-related research project that will benefit the College. Projects for the Fall of 2012 are united by a theme of communication, with students working to promote Swem Library’s Sustainability Guide, plan Earth Week 2013, present energy data to the campus community, educate the community about recycling, and work on general communication of sustainability efforts. To learn more about the EcoAmbassador program, contact Beth Chambers, the class instructor, at or Patrick Foley at

Students who notice improvements the college could make towards the goal of sustainability can also apply for Green Fee grants. The Green Fee is a fund that goes towards sustainability projects at W&M, and has funded sustainability initiatives ranging from installing refillable water stations to hosting movie screenings and speakers.

Sustainability at William & Mary certainly does not end with COS. In upcoming Hark Upon the Green posts, we’ll talk about opportunities to advocate for the environment through some of our student organizations, as well as introduce students to environmentally-related courses of study at the College.

Stay tuned!

September 11th, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

September 6th, 2012

Surry Coal Plant Victory

On August 8, 2012, news broke that Old Dominion Electric Cooperative’s plans to construct the largest coal-fired power plant in the state of Virginia were officially on hold due to the most recent EPA regulations on atmospheric CO2. The regulations will limit CO2 production by power plants to 1000 pounds per megawatt of energy generated, which the Surry plant would exceed.

Photo from Chesapeake Climate Action Network

This news came at a critical juncture for the town of Dendron, for Surry County, and for the groups organizing against the plant in these and surrounding areas. In many ways, the plant was narrowly avoided; it was ODEC’s plan to break ground on the facility this year. If construction on the plant had begun on schedule, the plant would have been grandfathered, and would not have been held to the new regulatory standards.

While the EPA regulations are directly responsible for halting plans to construct the plant, it was only the final piece of a long and convoluted story, one that demonstrates the power of delay when fighting an energy source that is past its prime.

The town of Dendron originally approved zoning for the town that would allow the plant to be constructed in February of 2010. The approving vote was problematic; it was not advertised in the agenda for the meeting, and when a local resident asked whether or not there would be any actions taken at the meeting, he was told that the meeting would only include public comments. The dramatic voting controversy can be watched online in two parts:

Watch Part 2 Here.

Disagreement on the council and the abstention of several members was not enough to prevent the illegal vote from going through unanimously in favor of the plant.

The next two years brought many changes. In September of 2010, ODEC delayed their permitting process for 16 to 24 months, citing the lack of demand for electricity caused by slower-than-expected financial growth, and uncertainty over the future of emissions regulations.

In the meantime, the company still faced tremendous local opposition. In particular, several local citizens filed a lawsuit against the company and the town of Dendron over the illegal vote, which they won in November of 2011. The town had a chance to revisit the zoning changes in early March of 2012, and deny the plant from being built; again, it was approved unanimously. Before disappointment could set in for Surry County – who came out in force at two public hearings held in February and March to oppose the plant – the new EPA regulations were announced.

Photograph from the February, 2012 Planning and Zoning Hearing. Photo credit: Jackie Carroll

For now, the future of Surry County is uncertain. The Supreme Court could still overturn the regulations, and it is in ODEC’s power to change their plans for the Dendron property. The fate of the regulations – and of the EPA – could also be in the hands of voters this election day. For the time being, the likelihood of a coal plant being constructed in Surry County is at an all-time low.

This story shows that as time goes on, coal is proving to be less and less viable of an energy source. ODEC was the first to admit this when it first delayed its permitting process due to lack of energy demand. In March, the EPA all-but announced the end of the coal era with their new regulations on CO2. With the acceleration of climate change, we can no longer afford to obtain our energy from the dirtiest of the fossil fuels, and our regulations are finally beginning to reflect this truth.

To take on powerful energy companies and win, especially as a small town whose financial and political resources are far exceeded by those of their opposition, is a nigh-impossible task. As shown in Dendron, however, sometimes delay is the magic formula. Ordinary citizens may not be able to defeat coal outright, but they can, and will, fight and survive until this dinosaur fuel is finally laid to rest.

-Sharon Hartzell

September 5th, 2012


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