An event centered on celebrating food, farmers and community including a wonderful locally-grown meal and an inspirational speaker.

Save the Date! The 13th Annual Local Food Dinner on Saturday, March 26th

Join the College Farm for one of Dickinson’s sustainability flagship events!  

The dinner aspires to tickle the taste buds of those in attendance and celebrate the agricultural landscape of our region. Featured in this year’s menu are entrees like Dickinson College Farm beef chuck roast and a vegetarian polenta dish topped with spinach and black beans! 

This year’s talk will be about “Why Local and Regional Foodsheds are our Future” with our keynote, Dr. Dave Mortensen, Professor of Weed and Applied Plant Ecology at Penn State University. Mortensen’s work focuses on deepening our understanding of ecologically-informed agriculture.

Mortensen’s research has been highlighted in international journals, Congressional testimonies and briefings. At Penn State, Mortensen has chaired the Ecology Graduate Degree Program. Additionally, due to his commitment to sustainable agriculture, he serves as the faculty advisor for the Student Community Garden, the co-chair for the Student Sustainable Farm and Food Systems minor and a Faculty Fellow in the Sustainability Institute. He also sits on the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture and on the Rodale Institute Farm Advisory Committee.



Saturday, March 26th, 2016 Dinner will be served at 6:30pm, doors open at 6:00pm. Where: Dickinson College Holland Union Building (HUB), 28 N. College Street, Carlisle, PA Keynote Speaker: Dr. Dave Mortensen, Professor of Weed and Applied Plant Ecology at Penn State University

More information about how to buy tickets

For non-Dickinson students, tickets to the dinner and keynote are on sale via • Tickets are $30 each for community members ($32.04 with service fee). These tickets are available via the link above and can be purchased using any device with an internet connection, smart phones and tablets included.

For Dickinson students, tickets will be sold in the lower level of the HUB on March 7 – 10 and March 21 – 25 from 11:30-1:30. Tickets are also available any day in the College Farm office in Kaufman Hall, room 122. The cost for students is $15 per person and can be purchased with declining balance.2010 Local Food Dinner


Getting to the Local Food Dinner

Map of Dickinson Campus – Holland Union Building is #16.

The Holland Union Building’s street address is 28 N. College Street, Carlisle, PA, 17013.

Directions to Dickinson

Parking is available on the street and in campus lots. Carpooling is encouraged!

About the Local Food Dinner

Attendees at the Local Food Dinner share in food and conversation at the all-local catered buffet.What better way to expose our students and local community to the vast array of resources that exist in the Cumberland Valley than to create a dinner made almost exclusively with local ingredients? Since 2004, the farm has collaborated with student organization SISA to help organize our region’s local food celebration. By contacting local farmers and working with the College’s Dining Services to develop a seasonally appropriate menu, we have succeeded in drawing a crowd of 250 each year for a feast that is one of a kind. Local Food Dinner MenuWe have been fortunate to have leaders like Ben Hewitt, author of “The Town that Food Saved” and “Making Supper Safe”; Anna Lappe, co-founder of Small Planet Institute and a widely respected author and educator, renowned for her work as a sustainable food advocate; Kim Tait, owner of Tait Farms food activist, and agricultural entrepreneur; Nina Planck, Farmers’ Market organizer, food activist, and author; Kim Seeley, PA Dairy Farmer, President of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA); Anthony Flaccavento, founder and executive director of Appalachian Sustainable Development as keynote speakers. Our Local Food Dinner is held on campus in the Holland Union Building (HUB) Social Hall every spring.

Past Speakers

kristin kimballMarch 22nd, 2014: Kristin Kimball Author of The Dirty Life and co-owner of Essex Farm “I was born in 1971, and grew up in central New York. I graduated from Harvard in 1994, then moved to New York City, where I worked at a literary agency, taught creative writing, and freelanced for magazines and travel guides. In 2002, I interviewed a wingnut farmer named Mark, and took more than a professional interest in both him and his vocation. We founded Essex Farm together in 2004 – the world’s first full-diet CSA, as far as we know – and I’ve been professionally dirty ever since. Mark and I have two daughters, and I have three great jobs: mother, farmer, writer. I stink at returning email. Since the publication of The Dirty Life, I’ve written for O Magazine about what it’s like to change your life completely; for Vogue on physical work, and for Gourmet Live on all sorts of farm and food related subjects (The Pigs Are AlrightA Corny StoryTales of TerroirThree Things Every Ethical Eater Needs To Know). Food & Wine featured us here, the Burlington Free Press here, and for the francophones out there, Alix Girod de l’Ain Laffontwrote about us here, in French Elle.

Janisse Ray photoMarch 23rd, 2013: Janisse Ray

Writer, naturalist and activist Janisse Ray is author of four books of literary nonfiction and a collection of nature poetry. She is on the faculty of Chatham University’s low-residency MFA program and is a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. She holds an MFA from the University of Montana, and in 2007 was awarded an honorary doctorate from Unity College in Maine. Ray has won a Southern Booksellers Award for Poetry 2011, Southeastern Booksellers Award for Nonfiction 1999, an American Book Award 2000, the Southern Environmental Law Center 2000 Award for Outstanding Writing, and a Southern Book Critics Circle Award 2000.  Ecology of a Cracker Childhood was a New York Times Notable Book and was chosen as the Book All Georgians Should Read. Ray attempts to live a simple, sustainable life on a farm in southern Georgia with her husband, Raven Waters. Ray is an organic gardener, seedsaver, tender of farm animals, and slow-food cook. She lectures widely on nature, community, agriculture, wildness, sustainability and the politics of wholeness.

NPR Marketplace interview with Kai Ryssdal: “The science (and business) of sowing seeds”

Ben HewittMarch 24th, 2012: Ben Hewitt Hewitt was born and raised in northern Vermont, where he currently runs a small-scale, diversified farm with his family. He lives with his wife and two sons in a self-built home that is powered by a windmill and solar photovoltaic panels. To help offset his renewable energy footprint, Ben drives a really big truck. His work has appeared in numerous national periodicals, including the New York Times Magazine, Wired, Gourmet, Discover, Skiing, Eating Well, Yankee Magazine, Powder, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, and Outside. His latest book is Making Supper Safe: One Man’s Quest to Learn the Truth about Food Safety. Listen to an interview with Ben Hewitt on NPR’s Think Radio with Krys Boyd: “Is Our Food Really Safe?” LA Times: “Frontlines of a Food Revolution” Ben Hewitt’s Website   Anna LappeApril 9, 2011: Anna Lappe, daughter of Frances Moore Lappe and international advocate on issues relating to “sustainability, food politics, globalization, and social change”.Anna Lappe founded the Small Planet Institute.       March 27, 2010: Tim Stark, farmer and author of “Heirloom”, a memoir of over fifteen years of growing heirloom vegetables on Eckerton Hill Farm. The Examiner: “Successful Tomato Farmer Tim Stark Details the Ironies of his Job” Dickinson News and Events: 2010 Local Food Dinner     April 4, 2009: Lyle Estill, author of “Small is Possible: Life in a Local Economy”; “Biodiesel Power; the Passion, People, and Politics of the Next Renewable Fuel”; and “Industrial Evolution; Local Solutions for a Low Carbon Future”. “Local Food Dinner to Feature Heirloom Tomato Guru Tim Stark”