Students’ Sustainable Root Cellar at Trent University Sets Ecological Example


Local, organic produce to be served up year-round at student-run ‘Seasoned Spoon’ Café

Friday, August 19, 2011, Peterborough

Trent University students who run The Seasoned Spoon, an on-campus café, are learning that by supporting local farmers, they not only revitalize the regional agricultural system, but reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the long-distance transport of produce.

In addition to buying food from local producers, the students also work in partnership with the Trent vegetable gardens, growing produce on various sites around campus, including the Environmental Resource Science Rooftop Garden.

“The challenge is how to make this produce accessible year-round,” said Aimee Blyth, coordinator of the ethically-mindful Seasoned Spoon Café.

This industrious group is meeting that challenge by building a root cellar for their local, organic fares. Pending formal building permits, excavation is set to begin in late August, 2011.

“This will not be just any root cellar,” said Aimee Blyth, coordinator at the ethically-mindful Seasoned Spoon.

Dug into a small hill near the loading dock of Champlain College, the root cellar will use proven sustainable building methods resulting in an earth-bag foundation and walls. The featured “green roof” will provide the most ecologically-sound means of insulation, along with the opportunity to showcase native plants. The root cellar will feature two storage areas, suitable for vegetables with different storage requirements.

“This root cellar will also be a demonstration site, introducing students and community members to ecological building practices and traditional food storage methods, while providing proper storage space for local produce and strengthening the sustainability of the Seasoned Spoon’s mandate,” explained Ms. Blyth.

An important part of the Spoon’s mandate is to provide innovative research opportunities for students, encouraging experiential learning and academic inquiry. From non-profit business management to rooftop gardens, the Spoon is relevant to many disciplines and issues, giving students a chance to explore numerous topics and to see their ideas put into practice, working with community gardens, local growers and environmental education groups.

Students who enrol in the new Bachelor of Arts or Science program in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems at Trent will no doubt find many opportunities to explore their ideas in this campus-grown initiative.

The Seasoned Spoon is a student-driven, co-operative café at Trent University that serves ethically produced foods. The Spoon is a social enterprise that seeks to achieve social, economic, and environmental sustainability. The Seasoned Spoon uses food as vehicle for social change and community building. For more information about the Seasoned Spoon, including our mandate and history, visit:


For more information on this project please contact: Aimee Blyth, Seasoned Spoon coordinator, 705-748-1011 x6086,