Scripps Students Make Marmalade from Fallen Fruit on Campus

Last spring, India Mullady ’11 enrolled in a Core II course on global food production. Today, with a new perspective on food and its impact around the world, she leads a drive to harvest the fruit growing on trees on campus. The goal is to make and sell marmalade, and, in so doing, inspire deeper thinking about food among students, faculty, and staff.

The sophomore economics major says the course, part of Scripps’ three-semester, interdisciplinary humanities core curriculum, got her classmates and her thinking about their lives, food, and the resources they were not using.

On Nov. 14, students, led by Yael Friedman ’09, organized a harvest. Previously, they had mapped the locations of fallen fruit and hung the map in the campus coffeehouse. There are 27 varieties of fruit trees on campus. In spring, volunteers will gather oranges, kumquats, and other fruits to make marmalade, and put the sweet jam in jars. In a pilot project last year, a smaller group of students made marmalade and report that it is delicious. They plan to sell the marmalade on campus and at craft fairs to raise funds for future community projects.

The harvest event also included music, speakers on social justice issues, and other educational programs on food sustainability. For example, Scripps’ food service baked a carrot cake and showed how many miles the ingredients traveled en route to campus.

At the harvest festival, Mullady also recruited volunteers for another campus food project — harvesting olives to make olive oil. She is working with the grounds department to stop spraying the olives with pesticides so that on Nov. 2, 2009 (she has researched the exact date that the olives will be at their ripest), they will pick olives with pneumatic rakes. She brought in a consultant to study the trees on campus, and he concluded that the olives would produce a highquality olive oil. Mullady is now negotiating with local olive presses to produce the oil.

“We could yield nearly two tons of olives, which would produce 780 bottles of olive oil,” she says. “We hope to recoup our costs and give back to the College for more sustainability and community-building programs.” Since her effort is not part of a student club on campus, Mullady is presenting a budget to the Board of Trustees in the hopes of obtaining funding.

Like many students at Scripps who felt transformed by courses they took in Core, Mullady believes her new perspective on food has changed her life forever.

“I think the course has allowed me to become a more well-rounded economist, and I do want to take more classes in agricultural economics,” she says. “Whether I pursue an MBA, consult, or enter the business world after graduation, understanding the political issues that relate to food will definitely be an unexpected bonus.”

 

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