Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Looking under the lawn

The Tufts campus is at its loveliest at Commencement time.
This past weekend was Commencement at Tufts University, always an inspiring rite of passage and a chance to reflect a bit after the intensity of the academic year.  It's particularly reflective for me this year, after a spring spent gathering information and ideas about the campus as a former, current, and perhaps future site of food production.  My "New Food Activism: Roots and Visions" class was devoted, in part, to reenvisioning the landscape around Tufts' Medford campus through the lens of its agricultural history, and my sense of the place has been shifting as a result.  In particular, I've been rethinking the lawns.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Here's to the sprouting season

Source:  Tufts Digital Collections and Archives.
I've been grubbing away quite diligently on my food/farm/history project since my last post, but the Spring 2014 teaching semester and conference schedule steamrolled over my good intentions to keep posting here occasionally.  Now that all of that is more or less over, I'm planning to get back into some regular blogging again.

That's not me grubbing in the dirt at the left, BTW.  It's a Tufts College (well, technically Jackson College, Tufts' then-new college for women) undergraduate helping to prepare the ground for the school's World War I garden in April of 1918, on the site of what's now the arts complex. Opening some new research into the history of food production on the Tufts campus is one part of what I've been doing this spring, in collaboration with a terrific group of students in this year's "New Food Activism: Roots and Visions" course.  I've just finished grading the final papers from that class, and they've opened up some exciting directions that I'll be pondering more deeply, including in blog posts here and some advance planning for next year's class and possible future projects at Tufts.