Project Tomato

Project Tomato

Project Tomato

How’d you spend your last week of summer? For these first-year Ducks, their transition to student life began with four days of riding bikes, visiting—and camping on—local farms, waking up with the roosters, and picking 1,000 pounds of tomatoes. They learned—first-hand—all about local agriculture and sustainability.

In addition to 90 gallons of pizza sauce, they all made some new friends. And you can taste the fruits of their labor when the pizzas are featured at University Housing's annual Farm-to-Fork Dinner, Thursday, October 27, in Carson Dining.

How’d you spend your last week of summer? For these first-year Ducks, their transition to student life began with four days of riding bikes, visiting—and camping on—local farms, waking up with the roosters, and picking 1,000 pounds of tomatoes. They learned, first-hand, all about local agriculture and sustainability. In addition to 90 gallons of pizza sauce, they all made some new friends.

How’d you spend your last week of summer? For these first-year Ducks, their transition to student life began with four days of riding bikes, visiting—and camping on—local farms, waking up with the roosters, and picking 1,000 pounds of tomatoes. They learned, first-hand, all about local agriculture and sustainability. In addition to 90 gallons of pizza sauce, they all made some new friends.

Students learn about local produce and edible weeds and flowers
Students learn about ways to participate in sustainable agriculture
A student in between rows of tomatoes

Project Tomato is one of five orientation programs for students in the Community for Ecological Leaders, an academic residential community. Students work on local farms, pick (and eat) produce, and explore the community with a focus on food. They learn about composting, fixing bike flats, local produce, edible weeds and flowers, free-range chickens, and ways to participate in sustainable agriculture.

Project Tomato is one of five orientation programs for students in the Community for Ecological Leaders, an academic residential community. Students work on local farms, pick (and eat) produce, and explore the community with a focus on food. They learn about composting, fixing bike flats, local produce, edible weeds and flowers, free-range chickens and ways to participate in sustainable agriculture.

Community for Ecological Leaders

Students hoeing around a tree
A student using a hoe

“We learned that eating locally often has better results, tastes better, and is better for the environment.”—Jules Renaud, Class of 2020, History, Portland, Oregon

“The best part was being able to bond with people before everyone else got here.”—Mitchell Yep, Class of 2020, Undeclared, Portland, Oregon

“We learned that eating locally often has better results, tastes better, and is better for the environment.”—Jules Renaud, Class of 2020, History, Portland, Oregon

“The best part was being able to bond with people before everyone else got here.”—Mitchell Yep, Class of 2019, Undeclared, Portland, Oregon

Students raking leaves into a wheelbarrow
A tomato on the vine
A student eating a fresh tomato
Students looking at a cut tomato

“To be outside and see how things work, it feels like ‘Wow, this is really something I could do’ rather than just reading about it.”—Alyssa Larimer, Class of 2020, Environmental Studies, Edmunds, Washington

“I really enjoyed getting to see the community and the greater Eugene area. To be outside and see how things work, it feels like ‘Wow, this is really something I could do’ rather than just reading about it.”—Alyssa Larimer, Class of 2020, Environmental Studies, Edmunds, Washington

 

 
Project Tomato Sauce Recipe
Project Tomato Sauce Recipe
Project Tomato Sauce Recipe

1,000 pounds local tomatoes

9 cups chopped garlic

9 cups dry basil

132 cups tomato paste

14 ¼ cups kosher salt

 

Directions: Visit farm and pick tomatoes. Rinse and core, blanch in hot water, shock in cold water, peel and de-seed. Add additional ingredients and puree.

To make at home: Use 10 pounds freshly picked tomatoes, 1.5 tablespoons of both garlic and dry basil, two six-ounce cans tomato paste and two tablespoons kosher salt. Makes about a gallon. Freeze any leftovers.

 

 
A chef at Carson Dining giving instructions to the students working with the tomatoes
Students coring tomatoes

On Sauce Day, the culmination of Project Tomato, students transform 1,000 pounds of tomatoes they picked into 90 gallons of sauce—enough for 1,920 pizzas. University Housing will feature the pizzas at their annual Farm-to-Fork Dinner, Thursday, October 27, in Carson Dining.

On Sauce Day, the culmination of Project Tomato, students transform 1,000 pounds of tomatoes they picked into 90 gallons of sauce—enough for 1,920 pizzas. University Housing will feature the pizzas at their annual Farm-to-Fork Dinner, Thursday, October 27, in Carson Dining.

Project Tomato

A student blanching tomatoes in hot water
A student de-seeding tomatoes
Students in the Carson Dining kitchen turning the tomatoes into pizza sauce

Do you know what flowers and weeds are edible? The nutritional value of dandelion greens? Why ugly apples can be tastier and better for you (and the environment)? For Project Tomato students it’s farm-to-fork and garden-to-mouth. They sample fruits, veggies, smoked salmon, goat cheese and (so-called) weeds. And they make apple cider, pasta from free-range chicken eggs, and their own hand-foraged salads.

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Do you know what flowers and weeds are edible? The nutritional value of dandelion greens? Why ugly apples can be tastier and better for you (and the environment)? For Project Tomato students it’s farm-to-fork and garden-to-mouth. They sample fruits, veggies, smoked salmon, goat cheese and (so-called) weeds. And they make apple cider, pasta from free-range chicken eggs, and their own hand-foraged salads.

How’d you spend your last week of summer? For these first-year Ducks, their transition to student life began with four days of riding bikes, visiting—and camping on—local farms, waking up with the roosters, and picking 1,000 pounds of tomatoes. They learned, first-hand, all about local agriculture and sustainability. In addition to 90 gallons of pizza sauce, they all made some new friends.

Project Tomato offers a lesson on food, farming and sustainability