Did you know that you can cook a sweet potato in the microwave in just 4 minutes? Or that if you start up the rice cooker early enough your rice will be nearly ready by the time you have to go to class? We make it work here in B3 with our “kitchenette” but is this really a way to learn the meaning of food in a sustainable community system? If it weren’t for the PICA community meals, we would be microwaving potatoes every night!
I’m sure all of you past PICAns remember this kitchen dilemma. Though we love and appreciate the bountiful organic garden in our backyard, how can PICA’s premise of sustainable living around community agroecology thrive in a kitchenette full of energy sucking appliances, electrical chords and micro-radiation? This is one of the reasons why we are fundraising for the construction of a completely sustainable Green Kitchen to be built in the A Quad here at PICA.
This innovative kitchen will be built with sustainable and recycled materials, the latest green technology, and an eye for the future! It will serve not only as a communal kitchen and general community space for PICAns dedicated to sustainable living, but as a place of research for faculty and students interested in green building. It will be a first of its kind and will serve as a model of how to “green” a college campus and provide a place to demonstrate the ever-important connection between the garden and the table.
I am very excited about this project because I feel that with such a beautiful garden of all kinds of vegetables and fruits, it is important to take these, often foreign, crops to the kitchen and experiment! It would be great to have a place where PICAns can share recipes and offer advice to one another. I also feel that this communal kitchen would provide an increased awareness of our role in the food system as well as a realization of the amount of energy we consume with our normal kitchen activities. If we are more aware of the amount of energy available to us from the solar panels, or the amount of water made available to us from the rain catchment system, then we might think twice about zapping that sweet potato or letting the water run as we wash the dishes.
As a member of the Green Kitchen committee we are currently working towards fundraising projects to raise the last $70,000 for construction costs. This coming quarter we will be organizing various fundraising events. As of now we hope to hold a Woodstocks pizza night, a bake sale, and a fun music and/or dinner event for the local community. These dates will be posted, but in the meantime anybody can donate online by going to the PICA homepage at www.ucscpica.org and following the instructions under the Green Kitchen information. Please help us get this kitchen built!