Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Interviewing Matt Carroll and Matt Lapento

The group ventured into the dining hall to interview Matt Carroll, head of Sodexo dining services, and executive chef, Matt Lapento. The sound was not that great due to the fact that we went just after lunch and there was a lot of clanking of dishes and silverware, but we did manage to get some good information regarding both the harvest and the biodigester. Matt Carrol talked about the early stages of the garden while Matt Lapento talked more about the harvest that the dining halls receives from the garden.

Visiting the Legacy Garden

On March 23, Noe and I visited Julie Welch in the Legacy Garden. She shared a lot of background information on the Legacy Garden which was quite interesting. One thing I learned is that the gardening beds are made out of old McKeon Pavillion bleachers. Pretty cool. Also, that the Legacy Garden is a sustainable garden, not to be confused with organic. (We were called out & kindly corrected.) There are many more regulations for an organic garden like organic seeds, organic fertilizer, etc., which St. Mary's does not use. She also showed us the greenhouse which allows plants a better environment to grow.

Panel Discussion for Our Struggle

Noe, Scott and Sky attended a panel discussion for Our Struggle Is Tied With Yours. This was the first time Our Struggle opened themselves to peer criticism. Some students voiced that they felt Our Struggle was undermining some of the Catholic traditions of the college through its list of demands.

Biodigester Re-shoot

So I went to the biodigester today to meet with Jen Jackson. It was unfortunate that we had to go re-shoot, but lucky that Jen was more than willing to help us. I asked her the prepared questions, and was able to film some of the facility. Unfortunately there were no trucks unloading while we were there, so we had to suffice for the pictures that Jen was able to provide. We did get some great information from her on video, but without a working mic, we picked up a lot of background noise that will be difficult to edit out. It might just have to be a loud video.

(One of the pictures from Jen)
Truck unloading waste from the grinder

Major Upset!

Oh my god, I can't believe it. I spent hours trying to transfer the files from the video camera onto a hard drive the school provided. It would only transfer files under two minutes, which left several of the more important clips with the most talking from Jen Jackson still on the camera. I then went to delete a clip on the camera, and inadvertently deleted all of the clips that were shot on the biodigester day! Terrible news, but the worst is yet to come. Now I can only pull 5 clips off of the hard drive, and the rest are corrupted somehow. Even our video guru Marcia can't figure out what's going on. Our footage is lost, and we only have a few weeks until it is due.

The Biodigester

Monday, May 10, 2010

Allied Waste Interview

On April 15, Shawny and Sky went to the Allied Waste facility to interview the people in the office about their job and interaction with Saint Mary’s College. Allied Waste serves counties around the East Bay and is actively pursuing waste in all its forms. They pick up garbage, recycling, green waste (aka yard waste), as well as pre-consumer food waste. Pre-consumer food waste is food waste that was not involved in the production of food and is discarded prior to being cooked. This includes the unusable/unedible parts of fruits and vegetables.

At allied waste they no longer refer to waste as trash, but instead refer to it as “commodities.” The recycling is sorted and then re-used to form new goods. Some of the yard waste is diverted to a compost facility, while the rest is used to cover the landfill. The pre-consumer food waste is then sent to the biodigester in Oakland which produces electricity.

Matt Carroll, the head of Sodexho, said that Saint Mary’s College was a pilot project to see how feasible it would be for institutions to give pre-consumer waste to Allied Waste. The waste is then brought to a biodigester in Oakland. Saint Mary’s supplies Allied Waste a 1 yard container once a week. In total, Allied Waste supplies the biodigester 10 tons per week.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Legacy Lettuce!

Our group had the opportunity to observe Julie Welch, garden steward, and student volunteers harvest some of the spring crop including lettuce, snow peas and calendulas