Virginia Food Heritage Project The Virginia Food Heritage Project is a collaborative, community-based project that envisions a greater understanding and documentation of our food heritage to enhance our regional sustainability and resilience. The project seeks to build knowledge about heritage place-based foods, and to create future opportunities for economic development and community-building in and through our agricultural future.
Central Appalachia Food Heritage Project The Central Appalachia Food Heritage project, working with local and regional partners, is a collaborative, community-based effort that helps to build knowledge about the foodways of central Appalachia, and cultivate opportunities to build community vibrancy and thriving local economies. The project is a new effort, and the goals and activities are evolving with input from project partners.
2013 Community Food Systems: Regional Food Heritage Inquiry This class is a 3-credit “structured independent study” during Summer Sessions I and II, and co-taught with Kendra Hamilton. Inspired by the Virginia Food Heritage Project, students work independently, with meetings at intervals through summer sessions I and II, for training in qualitative interviews, podcast production, ethnographic writing, and mapping tools. Students will investigate specific themes of food heritage evolution in the Central Virginia region. Their work will be published on the Virginia Food Heritage website and archived to inform future initiatives.
2013 Community Food Systems Class: Food Justice This class is an academic engagement class co-taught with Kendra Hamilton, UVa lecturer in women, gender and sexuality. Students tested a newly developed Food Justice Audit in the City of Charlottesville, specifically focussing on four neighborhoods: 10th and Page; Friendship Court/ Ridge Street; Belmont/Southwood; and Fifeville. The Audit has two equally important components. Students begin with the “baseline audit” in which they research the answer to 100+ questions about the City’s policy and program framework for food justice, while at the same time they are becoming familiar with their neighborhood by performing service at a neighborhood agency. The second phase is when, after completing their baseline audit, they conduct a “life history” interview of one resident, as well as interviews with several neighborhood “thought leaders,” to elicit community ideas and recommendations for City consideration.
2012 Community Food Systems Class: Farmers Market and Applied Food System Research This class – an Morven Summer Institute and academic community engagement course – is co-taught with Paul Freedman, professor of politics. In this class, students learn the rigors of designing a sound research survey design, using the lens of farmers markets to investigate and address the challenges of growing sustainable local food systems.
2012 Community Food Systems Class: Virginia Food Heritage This class – a global health and community engagement course – examines the question of food system planning through the lens of food heritage. To our knowledge, it is the first such class in food system planning in the U.S. Using case studies, student teams developed a range of planning options for advancing our regional food system by supporting our region’s unique, place-based food heritage.
Virginia Food Security Summit In partnership with Virginia Tech and the UVA School of Architecture, the IEN designed and facilitated two state-wide summits on food security. The first summit was held in 2007, with a second summit held in 2011. The event attracted participants representing stakeholders in Virginia’s food system – farmers, local governments, state agencies, academicians, farm suppliers, food buyers and distributors, public health managers and nutrition experts, and, of course, consumers.
2011 Food Systems Class: Global-Local In this class – a global health and community engagement course – three student teams investigated the question of access to fresh, nutritious food in the City of Charlottesville, through the lens of the community food safety net, food production, and health.
2010 Food Systems Class: Policy This class – a community engagement course – was the first to test our newly developed Food Policy Audit, to develop specific policy proposals for local comprehensive plans, building on the work of previous classes.
2009 Food Systems Class: Assessment This class – a community engagement course – worked on developing indicators and benchmarks to assess the performance of a community food system. Each student teams worked on a specific aspect, or sector, of the local food system, which was defined as our Thomas Jefferson Planning District and comprised of five counties and the City of Charlottesville.
Charlottesville Area Local Food Directory With the support of an anonymous donation for a graduate student internship, the IEN worked in partnership with the Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) to develop the first local food directory for the greater Charlottesville region: “Buy Fresh, Buy Local.” The PEC is serving as official host for this directory and will be updating and distributing the directory on an annual basis (PEC’s Buy Fresh, Buy Local site).
2008 Food Systems Class: Global-Local This course – both a global health and community engagement course – examining healthy communities through the lens of healthy food systems. Students developed case studies of food systems in cities and villages throughout the world, and examined the global-local connections of our regional food supply.
2007 Food Systems Class: Policy This class – a community engagement course – took on specific projects to deepen student understanding of local regulatory policies’ impacts on food systems. Student teams worked on developing and refining possible policies to remove barriers or facilitate a more secure and sustainable food system. Their work involved research as well as community engagement.
2006 Food Systems Class: Assessment This was the first year that we offered community food planning. The students conducted a preliminary assessment of the local Charlottesville regional food system, and presented their findings to the community. The success of this community presentation resulted in this this becoming a permanent feature of the food planning course.