Hello…we hope you’re having a good day! A few pieces on the menu today, in no particular order.


Kimbal Musk is changing the food system…one school garden at a time. You know that the UC Food Observer thinks that school gardens are a vital component in a sustainable food system, and that they ought to play a larger role in national food policy. We were thrilled to read this piece about the work of Kimbal Musk, who is helping to build a better food system – one school garden at a time – through The Kitchen Community, his nonprofit. (We loved visiting their website to check out photos of the Learning Gardens that Musk has funded). A #greatread by Anna Roth for Civil EatsIf the world’s got you down, this piece will lift you up. For more school gardens, read our Q&A with Food Corps’ Jerusha Klemperer.


Five lessons for universities hoping to shape a more sustainable world. This thought piece represents a collaboration between Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene (an academic journal) and Ensia, an environmental magazine “powered” by the University of Minnesota “with support from major foundations and private individuals.” It’s based on an earlier commentary that appeared in Elementa: Mobilizing the power of higher education to tackle the grand challenge of sustainability: Lessons from novel initiatives(Also well worth a read).

The premise? Universities “seem like they should be great seedbeds for advancing sustainability — after all, they’re all about discovering new things and sharing them with the rest of the world.” A limiting factor? The authors suggest that might be the culture at universities, which often “rewards working within disciplinary lines and focusing on research per se rather than on applying the results of that research.” (The piece doesn’t discuss the extension and applied research mission of land-grant institutions, via the Cooperative Extension Service).

Some key takeaways? Universities should focus on solutions, be interdisciplinary and build partnerships. The authors conclude that:

“The timing is right for solutions-oriented sustainability programs that are responsive to environmental and societal needs, to student and faculty interests, and to opportunities in emerging career paths…”

The University of California has begun two initiatives that address sustainability, including the Global Food Initiative (the initiative under which the UC Food Observer falls) and a Carbon Neutrality Initiative. We hope that you’ll visit the websites to learn more.



Have a great day!