Midwest “Real Food Summit” Convenes on Campus
By Lee Leffler
The Real Food Challenge has chosen Maharishi University of Management to host the Midwest Real Food Summit, a regional gathering of students involved in the “just and sustainable food movement.” About 100 participants are expected.
The summit will be held this weekend, March 7–8, and will include workshops and meetings in which these student groups will develop skills, study sustainable successes, and build relationships.
As of mid-February, participants from Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan, and Wisconsin had signed up.
Real Food Challenge is a national network of student leaders engaged in food issues, including farm workers rights groups, student farmers, local food champions, fair trade campaigners, and climate change activists. One major summit will be held in each region of the country. Real food is food that’s ethically produced, sustainable, healthy, tasty, and has the potential to inspire social change.
M.U.M was chosen by the event organizer, Iowa State University graduate student Sue DeBlieck, after meeting Lonnie Gamble, assistant professor of Sustainable Living at M.U.M. Ms. DeBlieck had not visited M.U.M., but became excited about the idea of holding the Midwest Real Food Summit at the University based on its excellent Sustainable Living Program, small size, and sustainable features. Summit attendees will enjoy organic, vegetarian food from Annapurna Dining Hall.
“It is a great honor that Maharishi University of Management was chosen to be the host for the Midwest Real Food Summit,” said Puki Freeberg, president of the M.U.M. Global Student Council. “We can’t wait to give them a taste of the real food we eat every day.”
Meetings will be held in the Argiro Student Center, which incorporates energy efficiency, daylighting, superior insulation, and non-toxic materials.
The summit will include a tour of Fairfield’s and Maharishi Vedic City’s local green attractions, including Radiance Dairy, the Maharishi Vedic City greenhouses, and Abundance Ecovillage.
“Fairfield and Maharishi Vedic City offer many opportunities for students to see sustainable food in practice,” Ms. Freeberg said. “M.U.M. is a perfect example of a sustainable community blended with sustainable agriculture.”
“I’m inspired by what students nationwide are doing to promote fair and just food,” Ms. DeBlieck said. “Many are starting gardens, getting fair trade coffee on campus, and advocating slow food.”
The summit will include representatives from the United Students for Fair Trade, the Student Farm Worker Alliance, and many other groups involved in the just and sustainable food movement. “We are coming to Fairfield to share our experience and build connections with other young people,” Ms. DeBlieck said. “We’re all learning this.”
Students Win Soccer Championship
Two teams of students competed in an eight-team indoor soccer league in January, with both teams making it to the final and earning first and second place.
The students were competing against teams from Iowa City, Washington, and Ottumwa. Team manager Neo Parim said there was a strong contingent of players of Mexican origin who tried to dominate through a very physical style of play, which added to the challenge.
Both teams did well in the weeks leading up to the championship tournament, during which time each team played every other team once. The top four teams then went to the tournament on February 1.
The M.U.M. Flyers won their semifinal 5-3, and M.U.M. United won their semifinal 6-3.
Then in the spirit of camaraderie, the teams mixed and matched players for the championship match. “It was mainly a family game because we already had the championship,” Mr. Parim said. “It was a formality, so we just wanted to have fun and not worry about which team won or lost.”
Mr. Parim said that indoor soccer is played in an area the size of a basketball court and uses five-man teams instead of the usual 11. And he said the game is fast and tiring because the player needs to be cautious and alert all the time — while running constantly. There’s no occasion during play when the ball is distant and the player can slow down for a moment to catch his breath.
After the championship match the teams received team trophies and each player received a small individual trophy during a post-match ceremony. “The celebration part was great fun,” Mr. Parim said. “There was a lot of singing and laughing.”
The matches were held at Bridge View Center. Mr. Parim said that most of the M.U.M. players were in the Computer Professionals or Accounting Professionals degree programs and will now be leaving for practicum positions. He is currently organizing teams that will involve the newly arrived students and plans to compete in a spring league.
The players on the winning teams came from around the world: Cameroon, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Holland, India, Nepal, Palestine, and the U.S.
The secret of the teams’ success was their enthusiasm and their attitude of having fun. “Our goal is to have fun,” Mr. Parim said. “If you’re having fun, then success comes naturally. New players are welcomed and quickly become friends with one another. Out of this friendship comes the coherence that results in success.”
University Becomes Member of Seed Savers Exchange
By recently becoming a member of the Seed Savers Exchange, Maharishi University of Management is helping in an effort to preserve the genetic legacy of vegetables, herbs, flowers, and fruit trees that is rapidly being lost as a result of factors such as industrial agriculture and genetic engineering.
The Seed Savers Exchange is an Iowa-based nonprofit organization founded in 1975 to preserve the vanishing agricultural heritage. Part of the Exchange’s work is maintaining a huge collection of heirloom and open pollinated varieties of vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruit trees that is available to the public. Heirloom varieties are defined as those that were known before World War II.
The Seed Savers Exchange has also initiated a global network of home gardeners and small-scale farmers who grow these varieties to save their seeds and thus keep them alive and available to other people.
The organization also publishes a yearbook, with the current volume listing 690 members from the U.S. and Canada who together offer 13,263 varieties of rare heirloom vegetables.
Maharishi University of Management will be contributing an heirloom seed to the yearbook — a Colored Butterbean that has been grown and propagated by the family of Sustainable Living faculty member David Fisher for more than 100 years. The unique beans were successfully grown last April at the campus greenhouses by Sustainable Living faculty member Alex Kachan and students in order to save the seeds and offer them in the upcoming yearbook.
The resulting 11 pounds of seeds are now also available to Fairfield’s gardeners and local mini-farmers. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
“This is our first variety in the famous Seed Savers Exchange Yearbook and the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment is really great,” Mr. Kachan said. ”It’s an extremely important work that the Seed Savers Exchange is doing, and we are happy and proud to be active participants in it.”
He said that with the upcoming new community supported agriculture track that the Sustainable Living Department is offering, each student will actually get to grow one such heritage variety into seed and then offer it in the Seed Savers Exchange Yearbook. “Growing to seed and seed saving is fundamental to sustainable agriculture,” he said.
For more information, see the website www.seedsavers.org. An online forum to help locate rare and lost varieties can be found at www.forums.seedsavers.org.
Award-Winning Classical Guitarist to Perform
Samuel Klemke, a young classical guitarist who has given over 500 concerts throughout Europe, in Japan, and in South America, will present a concert on campus on Thursday, March 5, and a master class on Friday, March 6.
Mr. Klemke, who practices the Transcendental Meditation® and TM-Sidhi® programs, has won 25 prizes in competitions in Europe, Japan, and the United States, including winning the Stafford Classical Guitar Recital Competition. He began studying guitar at the age of four and won his first competition at the age of 10. He has studied under many top masters of classical guitar.
He performs solo as well as with his sister, who also plays classical guitar. In 2005 the duo produced their first album, entitled “Danza Española.” He has also produced a solo CD and a solo single CD.
Mr. Klemke is a versatile musician with a wide repertoire and a special talent for twentieth century music.
The concert will be Thursday, March 5, at 8:00 p.m. in Dalby Hall in the Argiro Student Center. It will be free for M.U.M. students, $3 for M.U.M. faculty, staff, and Invincible America Assembly participants, and $5 for others.
Mr. Klemke will also offer both mentoring and a master class in guitar on Friday, March 6, at 3:15 p.m. in the student lounge in the Argiro Student Center. Instruction will be free for M.U.M. students, $20 for M.U.M. faculty, staff, and Invincible America Assembly participants, and $40 for others.
Maharishi Vedic City to Offer Community Supported Agriculture
Lovers of pure, organic food have the opportunity to join a community supported agriculture program that starts April 15 that will provide them with a weekly box of vegetables and fruit grown at the farm at Maharishi Vedic City.
The program will be similar to that offered several years ago in a joint venture by the University’s farm and Maharishi Vedic City.
The vegetables will cost $30 per box, and members will be able to pick them up at various delivery locations in the community. Also available will be half boxes, which will cost $20 and will be slightly more than half of a full box. Members will pay at the beginning of the season.
The products are harvested the same day or in some cases the previous day — offering the freshest possible food.
According to Dean Goodale, who directs the operation in Maharishi Vedic City, everyone wins with community supported agriculture. Because it cuts out the middleman, the grower makes more money, yet is able to sell to the consumer at a lower price than may be available from a retailer. Plus, the food is the freshest possible, and because it is locally grown, is a more sustainable approach to agriculture.
In addition, it has the element of connecting the consumer and the grower. “Modern agriculture is extremely impersonal, and the industrial food supply can be dangerous,” Mr. Goodale said. “Community supported agriculture provides a human component — you know where your food comes from, know who the grower is, and you can trust the purity.”
Mr. Goodale said that the program will focus on greater variety than in the past and will include fruit in season, such as strawberries, blueberries, melons, apples, and possibly peaches.
Because the operation includes greenhouses, vegetables can be offered earlier in the spring and later in the fall than would otherwise be possible.
The Maharishi Vedic City Organic Farm has a special focus on developing and nurturing the soil to maintain a minerally balanced and microbial rich growing medium. This ensures the highest nutrient value of the produce and offers the greatest benefit to the health of the consumers.
For more information and to sign up, see www.mvccsa.com.
Maharishi School to Host Conference
Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment will be hosting an educational conference March 26–27 that will introduce the benefits of Consciousness-Based(SM) education to educators, parents, and anyone else who may be interested.
Graduate credit as well as AEA recertification credit will be available.
Entitled “Consciousness-Based Twenty-First Century Skills for Students,” the conference guest speakers will include:
- Dr. Ashley Deans, director of Maharishi School and author of A Record of Excellence: The Remarkable Success of Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment
- Dr. Richard Beall, head of Maharishi School
- Dr. Fred Travis, director of research at M.U.M.’s Center for Brain, Consciousness and Cognition
- Dr. Nancy Lonsdorf, physician, book author, speaker, and recognized expert specializing in natural anti-aging and women’s health issues
- Dr. Chris Jones, chairman of the education department and dean of the undergraduate college at M.U.M., and acting chair of the Maharishi School Board of Directors.
- Margaret Kelley, co-chair of the 21st Century Skills Committee for the Iowa Department of Education and an Iowa Core Curriculum consultant.
Course attendees will also have ample opportunity to spend time meeting and interacting with the teachers and students of Maharishi School.
For more information, contact Laura Bordow, (641) 472-9400, ext. 5070. To register, see this page.
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