Category Archives: Food

Ron’s Closet: Capturing the Spirit of Middlebury College Through Apparel and Design

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There’s a new Middlebury alumni-led fashion endeavor in the works, and if you haven’t heard about it, you definitely should. While recent regulations have spurred many of us to criticize Middlebury campus traditions (or lack thereof), Ryan Brewster ’14 is determined to do the opposite, reviving and celebrating what Midd traditions we do retain through creative design. Enter Ron’s Closet Apparel Company

The ethos is simple. As Ryan explains:

Ron’s Closet Apparel Company aims to capture the spirit of Middlebury through graphic and clothing design. Channeling the innocent desires of a “Proctor Crush” or the unabashed disrobing that is “Like a Prayer,” our products are informed by the timeless themes that define our wacky, yet endearing culture.

Community. Tradition. Self-Expression. These are the core principles of Ron’s Closet, and embody the ethos of a brand created by and for Middlebury students. Consistent with these values, everything we produce will be sold at the cost of printing (i.e. we don’t care about profit), and any money that is contributed on top will be set aside for local charities.

Sounds pretty cool, and the designs (some featured above) are pretty awesome. After freshman year it seems we all get a bit sick of sporting that classic Middlebury sweatshirt, the emblem of college acceptance purchased within minutes of receiving the big envelope in the mail. This being said, there’s undoubtedly value in identifying with the aspects of our institution we do like, and Ron’s Closet designs provide a platform to do so, it’s mission being “to create apparel that is inspired by the lifestyle and pulse of Middlebury College.”

Plus, because Ron’s Closet is not profit-driven, you can feel good about your investment, knowing any surplus money will be donated to local charities. The company will be using the crowd-funding site Tee Spring, where shirts can be ordered individually on the basis of separate campaigns. Products will be printed and shipped once the minimum threshold of buyers is reached. More information regarding Tee Spring policies can be found here.

Ryan writes in to reinforce that Ron’s Closet is currently recruiting graphic designers (or any creative minds) who are interested in contributing to our collection. An additional arm of Ron’s Closet is that of a pro bono design service for events/organizations/you name it seeking branding and marketing materials. Among recent collaborators have included the Student Government Association, the Middlebury College Emergency Medical Services and the Islamic Society of Middlebury College.

Sounds like this start-up could really take off, so it could be a smart move to get involved fast. Contact for information! And, to learn more about the project, check out Ron’s Closet Facebook page here.

P.S.: Ryan, middbeat would certainly love our own design!

Snow Bowl Family Bash 12-4

photo cred: Stephanie Meckel '15

photo cred: Stephanie Meckel ’15

Alex Chapin and Steph Meckel ’15 write in:

Don’t miss out on what has recently become the greatest event of Fall Family Weekend!! The foliage will blow you away!

It’s the fourth annual Snow Bowl Family Bash! Come join us at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl for an afternoon of live music, food and friends! Enjoy hot chocolate at the top of Worth Mountain after taking a scenic ride up the triple to view Vermont’s spectacular foliage. Ticket prices for the lift ride are $3 for students and children, $5 for adults. There will be a barbecue in full swing all afternoon with food and drinks available for purchase. Proceeds go to the Middlebury Community Care Coalition and the Snow Bowl Ski Patrol.

Enter the raffle for a chance to win Snow Bowl gear and ski tickets. If you haven’t already gotten your season’s pass for the 2013-2014 season, they will be on sale for the duration of the event.

People have missed out on the beauteous event in the past, so make your time last. Invite your friends, parents, cousins, step children, grand children, second cousins, dogs, cats, parakeets, distant relatives, close acquaintances, gentlemen, gentlewomen, dates, girlfriends, boyfriends, friends with benefits, etc.

All are welcome to drive up on their own (just 20 minutes from campus), but Addison Country Transit (ACTR) shuttle bases will also be available between Adirondack Circle and  the Snow Bowl (to the Bowl: 12:55 pm, 2:10 pm; back to the College: 1:30 pm, 2:45 pm, 4:00 pm). Rides are free for Middlebury students, $1 for non-students. The bus will stop at the Bread Loaf Inn for those wishing to depart or return from the Bread Loaf campus.

When: Today, 12-4 PM
Where: Snow Bowl
Cost: $3 for a ride up the lift

Fall Harvest Festival: Saturday at the Organic Farm

Come enjoy an afternoon of autumnal festivities at the Organic Farm this Saturday!

Come enjoy an afternoon of autumnal festivities at the Organic Farm this Saturday!

Jake Faber ’16.5 writes in with this really cool weekend event:

Come down to the farm tomorrow between 3:00 and 7:00 for our fall garlic planting ceremony and harvest festival! We’ll start be planting next year’s crop of garlic (weather permitting), followed by a bonfire, potluck dinner, firing of the new cob oven (expect pizza with farm veggies!), and music performances.

If anyone wants to make food for the potluck, MCOF can purchase ingredients/supply produce from the farm as available. Email us at to let us know what you want to make and how much of what ingredients you need!

It’s BYOPAU, so bring your own plates and utensils! Can’t wait to see you all.

Organic Farm

When: Today 3-7 PM
Where: Organic Garden down past Ridgeline
Cost: Plates and Utensils

Atwater Dining Has New Coffee Machines!

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Perhaps we don’t have all the same thoughts when eating in Proctor, but if there’s one dining hall blunder we can all agree on, it’s the coffee. Quite simply, it sucks. Watery, tasteless, strange flavors, is it even caffeinated? We could go on.

Thankfully, Atwater has come through, again proving itself far superior to it’s peers: There are now two brand new coffee machines in Atwater dining hall, located by the first food line, next to the soda machine that, cough, still doesn’t work (beggars can’t be choosers). Dining services told us “It was time for a change, as the old machines were rather ancient, and couldn’t produce the best product.” Turn down for that.

But, is the coffee any better? A quick survey of Wednesday morning Atwater breakfasters concludes that yes, it is somewhat of an improvement. “Still not fantastic,” remarks Cate Stanton ’15.5, “but definitely better.”

Unsurprisingly, Atwater wins again. So, perhaps ditch the eggs to order for a day, and enjoy some freshly brewed Atwater coffee. They’ve got cantaloupe and pineapple, too. It’s all very exciting.

This Week at the RAJ


The Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs will feature three fantastic lecturers at Midd this week, beginning today at 4:30 with Croatian sociologist Professor Aleksandar Stulhofer’s “An Imported Culture War? Sex Education and the Religious Right in Croatia.”  Stulhofer is the chair of the sexology unit of Croatia’s University of Zagreb, and has written extensively on youth sexuality, pornography and HIV/AIDS, and in post-Communist Eastern Europe.  Thursday brings award-winning  Israeli author Assaf Gavron who will present a talk titled “The Hilltop Settlement:  A Perspective of an Israeli Author” at 4:30.  To end the week, Middlebury’s own Professor Enrique Garcia will present at the IGS Colloquium regarding the depiction of the mulatto in pre-revolutionary Cuban musicals on Friday at 12:15.  Lunch will be provided for those who RSVP to rcgaATmiddleburyDOTedu.  You can find the full RAJ schedule here.

When: Tuesday and Thursday 4:30, Friday 12:15
Where: RAJ
Cost: RSVP for Friday’s lunch

UPDATE: Also don’t miss tomorrow’s timely talk on Hong Kong: The Struggle for Democracy at 6 PM, presented by the Chinese Society and the RCGA.

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52 Thoughts You’ve Had When Eating Proctor Dinner

We can all agree that Proctor dinner can be a stressful experience. Even if you can whip up a homemade salad dressing in seconds or assemble an award-winning panini in a flash, you’re likely victim to the occasional awkward moment or food fumble. We understand your troubles, hence our decision to articulate the thoughts plaguing our minds as we get our essential, albeit sometimes bland, nutrients. For solidarity, humor, or self-pity, here’s 52 thoughts we’ve all had when eating Proctor dinner:

1. Oh god why is the line so long… Go to Ross people!
2. But seriously, where the F are the proctor bowls
3. This is not okay. I need my split pea soup


4. Mmmm is that chicken parm?
5. I worked out.. I definitely need two pieces…or three…
6. Do I look like a fatty with a plate full of chicken parm?
7. Ahh yes.. I’ll balance it out with a salad
8. I love salad!
9. NOT
10. Does anyone eat the weird dishes at the end of the salad bar?
11. Maybe I’ll try this raw fish rice… hmmmm
12. I’m SO glad we have a whole tub of ham. I’m hate when salad bars forget that essential ingredient.

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MONDAY: Saha Global Info Session, Global Leadership Program in Ghana

Did you know: 
780 million people around the world lack access to safe drinking water.

 Water-related diseases, like diarrhea, dysentery and cholera, kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.
The most vulnerable population are children under the age of five.
Globally, 1.3 billion people, over 18% of the world’s population, live without electricity.

That’s where Saha Global comes in:

38,108 people served
100% sustainability rate

If you’re passionate about international social justice, environmental sustainability and public health, you should absolutely attend the Saha Global information session tonight at 6pm in Hillcrest 103, led by Kate Clopeck, Saha’s Co-Founder and Executive Director (there will be FREE PIZZA)! Previously known as Community Water Solutions, Saha Global is an incredible non-profit providing innovative and sustainable water purification and solar electricity services in Northern Ghana, and they’ve got an outstanding 3-week Global Leadership Program (offered over J-term and summer), which various Midd students have participated in. Having been a summer Saha Global fellow myself (Leah Fessler ’15), I can vouch for this non-profit’s fantastic reputation. Here’s the basics:

Saha Global empowers women in rural communities in northern Ghana to solve their village’s need for clean water and electricity by providing business opportunities. They do this by bringing leaders from around the world to Ghana through our Global Leadership Program where they train local women to launch profitable social enterprises such as sustainable pure water and solar energy businesses. All of the revenue from these businesses stays in the community and is managed by the women entrepreneurs. To date, Saha Global has launched 71 clean water businesses and 5 solar electricity businesses, which empower 164 women entrepreneurs who serve 38,108 people. 100% of these businesses are still in operation today.

The three week Saha Global Leadership Program in Ghana has run successfully since the Summer of 2010, and over 10 Midd students have participated. The Saha site explains the program as follows:

Young leaders who participate in Saha’s three-week Global Leadership Program will be trained to become Saha Field Representatives. Before traveling abroad, they will fundraise to cover the start-up materials needed for each community business, as well as their in-country travel expenses. Once in Ghana, they will participate in a vigorous and comprehensive training program designed and led by our Saha Global team. Groups of four will be partnered with a rural community in which they will first introduce the business concept and its particular health, social and economic benefits, and then train local women to launch either a clean water or solar business.

By the end of the three-week program, these businesses will be up and running and the women entrepreneurs will be fully in charge of all operations. Our Saha Global team will then monitor the business for the next 5 years to ensure long-term success.

For more information about Saha Global, read their story hereSaha is currently accepting applications for 2015 Winter Global Leadership Program, which takes place in Ghana from December 28th – January 20th (J-TERM).

The CWS Summer Fellowship is an incredible opportunity, and if you’re at all interested please come learn more this afternoon. All years are welcome!

What: Saha Global Leadership Program info session
Date: Monday, September 29
TIme: 6-7pm
Place: Hillcrest 103 (the big classroom in Hillcrest)
Cost: None, but there will be FREE PIZZA!

Grape Harvest Party at Lincoln Peak Vineyard

unnamedIf you’re not slammed by work today, we highly suggest you make the quick drive to Lincoln Peak Vineyard for the Grape Harvest Party. Picking grapes and crushing them with your feet, live music, bubbly wine, VT cheese and sausage, and it’s free… what’s not to like? If you’ve never been, Lincoln Peak Vineyard is just three miles north of Middlebury, right off Route 7.

And, if you’ve got no time for anything but reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic today, just watch this and be happy.

Date: Today, September 28
Time: 12-5pm
Place: Lincoln Peak Vineyard

Café con Leche

Jah Red's fans tearin up the d floor

Jah Red’s fans tearin up the d floor

If you love Latin dance, culture, or music, we’ve got some good news: This Saturday, September 28, Crossroads Cafe is featuring Burlington’s DJ Jah Red who will be heating up the dance floor for a night of Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, Cumbia, and Reggaeton! Come enjoy a fun night with your friends and eat some delicious, free (that’s right, FREE) snacks.

Date: Saturday, September 27
Time: 10:00pm-2:00am
Place: Crossroads Cafe
Cost: Nada

Neva Hassanein Lecture: “Cultivating Food Democracy”


Tomorrow afternoon in Axinn 229, Neva Hassanein will speak on how local, sustainable alternatives to the food system are developed, and how they are examples of democracy and resistance in action. Hassanein, a professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Montana, will share her experiences getting the University of Montana’s student farm up and running, as well as her community-based research on local food systems and infrastructure in Montana. Whether you’re a regular volunteer at the Middlebury College Organic Farm or have never been to a Farmer’s Market in your life, this is a great talk to attend if you’re interested in learning more about how and why our decisions about food matter.

Date: Wednesday, September 24
Time: 4:30-6 pm
Place: Axinn 229