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Archive for August, 2010

Poppin’ Potluck

Forget Palermos. This past Sunday night (August 29) the OEC hosted a potluck open to all of campus. The event had a huge turnout with twenty to thirty students enjoying a variety of foods picnic-style outside the house. Mooching was minimized and nearly all the students brought a meal for the collective potluck. The entrees included potato salad, fruit salad, banana bread, chips and salsa, pasta, sweet potato pie, biscuits, numerous other vegetable dishes, and double chocolate ice cream for desert. Besides embracing the nostalgia of homemade cooking, students relaxed to the tunes of Bob Marley and schmoozed and conversed until dark. For all of you Sunday night pizza go-getters, take a look at the pics to see what you missed…

Definitely a program to do again! Thanks everyone for coming (and doing your dishes!).

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Big Hill Pizza

This Saturday, seventeen adventurous and semi-ravenous OECers biked to Big Hill Park (after a quick stop at Apple Hut, of course) to finally do the often talked about, but never attempted activity: make pizza in the park’s large brick ovens.  I’m happy to report that the venture was a huge success.  After an unsuccessful search for a grill rack on which to cook the pizza, the inventive OEC members constructed their own cooking contraption. Soon after, with the dough provided by the lovely Elizabeth Mackarewicz and the fixings provided by the lovely Beloit Farmer’s Market, a series of delicious, mouth-watering pizzas and calzones were made and rapidly consumed. Thank you to everyone who came! It was an evening to remember and more importantly, an evening to repeat.

Preparing the fixings

Watching the magic unfold

Pizza in Progress

Aww yeeaah

nom nom

Sad you missed this OECful dinner? No worries. Come to the OEC tomorrow (August 29th) at 6:30 p.m. for a Sunday night potluck. Don’t forget your dish!

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Success!  We led our first OEC meeting of the year yesterday, August 25th 2010.  And next week, of course, we’ll hold our next.  So that all may be informed, here is what we did:

  1. Meet and greet.  All 50+ members of our first meeting introduced themselves, along with her/his favorite hiking location and/or environmental issue.  The members of the house were identified as Nate Whitley, Katie Ringer, Greer Zimmerman, Kate Parsons, Clara Baker, Liz McKinley, Sierra Anseeuw, Will Ksander, Ari Jacobs, Elizabeth Makarewicz, and (soon to be present) Tommy Davis.
  2. Midwest Student Coalition:  please read the blog entry listed below by “papathemagicalgreendwarf” a.k.a., Dan O’Brien, to learn more about this!
  3. Revolving Loan Fund:  Check out this blurb about a recent initiative to aid in funding sustainable projects on campus.  Who knows, maybe you could be the next Taylor Bixby?
  4. Trees!  Every fall Yaffa Grossman leads a tree identification tour on campus with her Botany class.  This year, we’re all invited to participate!  And this may even turn into a hiking trip.  Stay tuned for more details…
  5. At the next OEC meeting Wednesday, September 1st at 8 p.m., we will hold semester elections and discuss meeting topics.  If you’re especially knowledgable on an environmentally/outdoor related topic, we encourage you to volunteer to lead a meeting.  It’s a great way to get involved and work on those public speaking skills..  If you aren’t ready to present, come anyway to vote and throw out suggestions!  We’ll have popcorn, and I promise it will be at least as awe-inspiring as our last meeting.
  6. OEC Communication:  This wasn’t actually discussed at Wednesday’s meeting, but it is important nonethelsess.  There are many easy ways to communicate pertinent information very quickly to members of the OEC and wider campus community.  One of those ways is through the listserv, of which you are all a part.  Just email any message you want all OECers to read to oec@lists.beloit.edu .  The message will likely not go through right away, as one of two moderators must approve all messages that go through, but odds are it will go out to the listserv within a few hours.  A second way of communicating information to the OEC is through THIS blog!  If you are interested in writing for this blog, all you need to do is sign up with a wordpress account, and email me at makarewi@beloit.edu your username.  I’ll add you as an author, and you’ll be able to log into WordPress at any time to post interesting tidbits of information, events, etc…  Lastly, I encourage everyone to use the Student Announcement Board to advertise any events that will be open to the entire campus.  Email all stuboard announcements to Sue Swanson, Beloit geology professor and OEC advisor.  Say hello, introduce yourself, and kindly ask her to post your message.  She will be more than obliged to do so.
  7. Up-coming events:
  • This Saturday, August 28th the Outdoor Environmental Club will lead a bike trip to Big Hill Park for an afternoon of biking and hiking.  All students who are interested should congregate at 3 p.m., bikes at hand, in front of the OEC (the big brown house located across the parking lot from the C-Haus and across the street from Bushnell).  Experienced bikers will lead the ~30 minute ride to Apple Hut and Big Hill Park, where fun and merriment are bound to ensue.  Around 6 p.m. we plan on utilizing the large, stone grills at Big Hill to grill pizzas.  Ingredients fresh from the farmer’s market and other pizza-constructing supplies will be provided, free of charge.  You only need bring yourself and your bike!
  • Sunday, August 29th there will be yet another great dining opportunity, hosted by the OEC and Slow Food.  As you all know, Commons is closed on Sunday nights.  So why not come eat with us?!  Fun people.  Beautiful weather.  Great food.  Sure beats Palermo’s…  We ask that anyone who shows up brings one dish.  It doesn’t need to be too fancy–for example, a cantaloupe would be just fine and dandy (especially if purchased at Beloit Farmer’s Market Saturday morning!).  Of course, more substantial dishes are also welcome.  Come find us Sunday evening at 6 p.m. in the yard of the OEC.  We’ll be dining, picnic style.
  • Wednesday, September 1st from 12:30-1:20 p.m. is the Student Activities Fair!  Come look for our table on Chapin Quad.   We’ll (hopefully) have a tent and itty-bitty grill set up for roasting s’mores.
  • Saturday, September 11th the annual Bike the Barns benefit will take place on small, organic farms outside Madison, WI.  For more information on the event, click here.  We plan on taking a Beloit van up to the event early Saturday morning, volunteering all day, and then returning Saturday evening in time for Folk and Blues.  Though the van has not yet been reserved, there will most likely be room for 12 passengers.  This event is always tons of fun–it will provide the opportunity to both serve and consume delicious, organic, locally-grown food (and beer!).  Please email me, Elizabeth, at makarewi@beloit.edu if you are interested in volunteering.
  • Paul Simon Party!!!!  T.B.A.

And that’s all we’ve got!  I don’t anticipate future meeting notes to go so long, but we had lots to cover.  I hope your first week of classes are running like a dream.  Let’s enjoy these sweet summer days while they last.  PEACE.

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Hazzard Free Farms

Hey y’all!

Most of you probably know me, but quick intro- Becca Rusk, senior, gone this semester but wishing she was still here…

Anyway, I thought I’d write a little about my summer, which was spent working on a non-certified organic farm in Pecatonica, IL.  The farm is owned by Andy Hazzard and in cooperation with three other smallish farms in the area runs a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in Rockford.  The basic premise of a CSA is that people buy a subscription at the beginning of the season, and throughout the summer and fall receive a box every week with whatever was harvested.  So this means that on the farm, we would plant, weed, water, and harvest organically grown vegetables and herbs, which would end up on tables throughout the Rockford area.  Delivering the boxes and getting to meet some of the subscribers was pretty neat, because I knew who all my hours of hoeing was benefiting, and they could find out who was providing their produce.

I worked on this farm for about three months, but the growing season is in no way over yet, which is where you all could come in.  I had talked to Andy about bringing some club members down to work this fall, which she was totally enthusiastic about.  So, if anyone is interested in going down there (it’s about 35 minutes southwest of Beloit) for a Saturday and working and learning a little about organic farming, she would welcome you.  I’ll leave her email address with Elizabeth Makarewicz, or email me at ruskr@beloit.edu.  I’d love to talk about the farm with anyone, so feel free to email me with questions or anything else.  I’ll see you all in January!

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