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Live Local UConn Trail

iPad-landscapeLive Local Connecticut is a UConn Extension program encouraging residents to live locally through food and gardening, and ties into our Live Local app. The Live Local UConn Trail highlights a few locations in and around UConn’s Storrs campus where you can live locally.

UConn Trail:

Dog Lane Cafe – the menu and daily specials emphasize seasonal, local, and freshly-prepared food, all made to order.

UConn Dairy Bar – the award winning UConn Dairy Bar features delicious ice cream made from our own UConn cows.

UConn Blooms – serving the UConn community with high-quality flowers and plants for most occassions.

UConn Dining Food Trucks – “Food for Thought” and the “Ice Cream Truck” have hit the streets!

UConn Dining – Whitney Unit – Whitney “Local Routes” offers a sustainable and local menu featuring seasonal food items from a variety of local farmers and food producers including our own UConn Gold honey, UConn eggs, UConn Dairy Bar ice cream and produce from the UConn EcoGarden.

Chuck & Augies – Chuck & Augie’s is located in the UConn Student Union and participates in Connecticut’s Farm-to-Chef celebration. Farm-to-Chef Week was started by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture in 2010 as part of its year-round Farm-to-Chef program. This special week encourages culinary professionals to use Connecticut Grown ingredients in new ways on their menus while it also helps residents and visitors learn more about the diversity of farm products grown and raised in Connecticut. Each year during this week, Chuck & Augie’s award winning chefs design a new and creative menu featuring locally grown foods from Connecticut and the region, including fresh produce grown at UConn’s own Spring Valley Student Farm and Dining Services’ Not Just Desserts Bakery.

Visit the UConn Animal Barns – Everyone is welcome to explore our animal barns and learn more about the animals that are used in the Department of Animal Science program. Visitors can see dairy and beef cows, sheep, and horses. The poultry units are closed to the public.

Storrs Farmers Market – Since 1994, Storrs Farmers Market has been proud to provide the greater Mansfield community with fresh, local produce, meats, dairy, baked goods, and more.

UConn Farm Fresh Market – UConn offers a Farm Fresh Market in season on Fairfield Way. The market offers fresh local produce from our own Spring Valley Student Fam and other local farms, baked goods from our Not Just Desserts bakery, local honey, and many other local products each week.

Tri-County Greenhouse – Tri-County Greenhouse is open year round and offers products grown on site, unique to the season. Tri-County Greenhouse is a division of the nonprofit agency Tri-County ARC INC. Their goal is to provide individuals with disabilities paid training and meaningful work experience in a retail horticultural setting. Tri-County Greenhouse is located adjacent to the UConn Depot Campus.

Farmer’s Cow Calfe – Merging the fun environment of a dairy bar with a neighborhood cafe, and the ability to purchase the full line of The Farmer’s Cow products all in one place. Plus, experience our one-of-a-kiind milk bar. The Calfe is located just a short distance from UConn.

For more information on how to Live Local in Connecticut, download our app, or visit the website.

UConn Creamery Excited to Return to Cheese Production

Cheese blocks(best)The UConn Creamery has been an integral part of the Animal Science Department since 1953. As the winner of countless “Best of” awards, the demand for the famous UConn ice cream is ever increasing.  Meanwhile, throughout the United States, consumer interest in local foods including specialty and artisan cheeses continues to drive the explosive growth of small scale, diversified, and value-added dairy production.

 

In response to growing demand, Dr. Dennis D’Amico joined UConn’s Departments of Animal Science this fall as an Assistant Professor. Dr. D’Amico, a food microbiologist who specializes in dairy foods, will utilize the creamery as both a research and teaching unit. “There are unique challenges and opportunities for value added dairy production that the Department of Animal Science is poised to address,” Dr. D’Amico begins. “While there are a lot of people interested in learning the art and science of cheese-making as a general interest, hobby or career, there are very few credible places they can learn how to do that. My goal is to strengthen and enhance value-added dairy production through my appointment with UConn Extension. I want to encourage sustainability of rural working landscapes in the northeast and elsewhere.”

 

Dr. D’Amico’s research focus is on improving the safety and quality of artisan cheese. For more than a decade he has worked extensively with students and producers alike through his position at the University of Vermont, where he worked on product development, process control, environmental monitoring, and the development and implementation of food safety management systems. His first class offering at UConn, Animal Food Products: Dairy Technology will be offered in the spring semester of 2015.

 

As a founding member of the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese, Dr. D’Amico also makes cheese, and will use his skills and experience on the production floor to re-introduce the UConn Creamery as a cheese production facility enhancing the teaching, research, and outreach missions of the University, and increasing opportunities for education across the board.

 

Cheese production“One of the best opportunities in my new position is the access to the milk produced at UConn’s Kellogg Dairy Center (KDC) to make our cheese,” D’Amico mentions. “Executive Program Director Mary Margaret Cole and the KDC staff were recently awarded Top Quality Milk Honors from AgriMark and were also selected as the 2013 Gold Winner in the National Dairy Quality Awards Program for the National Mastitis Council. Great cheese starts with great milk and we have the best. Our cheese is a great way to accentuate and showcase this quality.”

 

“The UConn Creamery flagship cheese will be our traditional cheddar that will be aged and offered as mild, medium, sharp and extra sharp. “Since cheddar needs time to develop flavor,” Dr. D’Amico states, “we will kick things off with two fresh cheeses, an old favorite produced at the creamery in years past called juustoleipa and a new versatile cheese in the style of queso blanco.” Both have received rave reviews.

 

In 2014, in addition to cheese-making operations, Dr. D’Amico will be focusing on the U.S. Dairy Food Safety Initiative with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy developing and delivering a harmonized artisan cheese safety training program for regulators, inspectors, cheese makers, and retailers as part of his appointment with UConn Extension. This training, entitled “Food Safety and Hygiene in Artisan Cheese Making” is available throughout the country and has already drawn more than 400 attendees. The class will be offered at UConn in spring 2014. Dr. D’Amico is also planning 3-day cheese and ice cream making short courses in the future at the UConn Creamery that will be open to everyone.

 

To learn more about the UConn Creamery, please visit: www.animalscience.uconn.edu or contact Dr. Dennis D’Amico at 860-486-0567.