Green Cafe Class | St. Lawrence University Sustainability Program

Green Cafe Class

Green Café: Farm to Table & Food Culture


Teaching Team Contacts

Café Coordinator                             Will Tritheart

                Big Spoon Kitchen                                           

Agricultural Coordinator                  Samuel Joseph

                Sustainability Program Director                       

Faculty Coordinator                        Sara Ashpole

                Environmental Studies                                     

Dining Coordinator                          Bob Zimmerman

               Manager Dana, Dining & Conference Services

Teaching Assistant                TBD                                                                                           

Sustainability Program Mentors

Office hours by appointment & scheduled weekly TA hours TBD.


Meeting and Lab Sections

Lecture / Cafe Meeting        Monday            1-4pm

Lab section                           Wednesday      1-4pm

Lab section                           Wedneday       4-7pm

Lab section                           Wednesday     7-10pm


Course Description & Learning Objectives

Farm to Table is a social movement to connect local food and farmers to communities. Students will explore what food tells us about culture, traditions, and society by participating in every aspect of a ‘Farm to Table’ enterprise: The Spartacus Green Café! The Green Café will strive to provide students with local sustainable food options and a platform for building and expressing cultural advocacy on campus. At the Sustainability Farm, students will actively learn by doing, from principles of sustainability and organic agricultural to harvesting and food preservation. A local restaurateur will facilitate restaurant management and culinary skills in the kitchen and café service. The class will extend food culture to the SLU community through organizing Pop-up Cafés in collaboration with campus student groups who would like to share their food traditions. The course seeks a dynamic and fearless Interdisciplinary team of students, and welcomes all skill levels. Note: All students must attend weekly Monday meetings. Students will harvest and run the café (Wed. nights). The total estimated in class/farm/cafe time for this course is (6 hrs). This course satisfies the experiential learning component of the Business in Liberal Arts Major.  Fulfills DIV13 Distribution (2013 curriculum).


Course Learning Goals:

  • To be exposed to, acquire skills for, and analyze the outcomes of a sustainability driven Farm to Table food system, including concepts and practical skills in:
    • Organic farming, harvesting, & food storage;
    • Menu development & meal preparation;
    • Café service and restaurateur management.
  • To explore the relationship between food, culture, & society by reflecting on one’s own food environment and that of others
  • To actively incorporate strategic and intentional thinking to plan and operate a small entrepreneurial enterprise

Communication & Course Materials

Communicating with the teaching team: Always feel comfortable to reach out for help and ask questions in the weekly meeting, TA hours, or by making an appointment with a member of the teaching team. If communicating by email please ensure you have a detailed header on the nature of the message. If the email is regarding a problem completing or uploading an assignment, or similar, you should ALWAYS attach the assignment (or your progress) to the email as evidence of completion by the deadline We will do our best to respond to all inquiries within 24hrs. Discussion in person is better than email if you have questions about course content, require explanations, or need to brainstorm. Do not forget your peers are a great source of information; consider posting your question on the SAKAI discussion board.

SAKAI is a web-based course management system used to manage course materials (posting of meeting notes, lessons, readings, drop boxes for assignment submissions etc.), interact with students & teaching team (discussion boards etc.), and provide feedback (grades, assignment comments etc.).


Course Materials

Suggested Texts


Eating Culture: An Anthropological Guide to Food. Gillian Crowther. 2017. University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division; 1 edition (2013).

Paperback $43, Kindle $22. Amazon.


Food: Ethnographic Encounters. Leo Coleman. 2012. Berg Oxford New York. 

Paperback $26, Kindle $20. Amazon.


Running a Restaurant for Dummies. Andrew G.Dismore, Heather Dismore, and Michael Garvey. 2007. Paperback $4.50, Kindle $11.99. Amazon.


Ugly Delicious by David Chang. 2018.

About Culture and Food. By Claudia Roden. 2015.

Cooking Communities. The Cultural Importance of Food. By Rocio del Aguilla. 2017

Exploring Street Food Cultures Around the World

Articles (see schedule)


Almerico, G. M. (2014). Food and identity: Food studies, cultural, and personal identity. Journal of International Business and Cultural Studies, 8, 1.

Ben-Eli, M. U. (2018). Sustainability: definition and five core principles, a systems perspective. Sustainability Science, 13, 1337-1343.

Mintz, S. W., & Du Bois, C. M. (2002). The anthropology of food and eating. Annual Review of Anthropology, 31(1), 99-119.

Moisio, R., Arnould, E. J., & Price, L. L. (2004). Between mothers and markets: Constructing family identity through homemade food. Journal of Consumer Culture, 4(3), 361-384.

Course Assignments, Academic Assessment, & Evaluation

Graded Course Components: Assignment instructions will be discussed during meetings & posted on SAKAI with the grading rubric.


Weight (%)

Participation & Active Engagement (10% each)            


Meetings & Discussion                                                                          


Harvesting & Food Storage


Café Service


Reports (10% each)


Expository: Food Culture & Family Traditions


Narrative: Personal Food Identify


Report: Sustainability & Entrepreneurship


Pop-up Café: Group Activity


Pop-up Proposal (5%)


Pop-up Event Execution (10%)


Pop-up Analysis (10%)


Food is Culture: Reflective Paper





Grading is based on a percentage of the total points possible according to the following scale:





































Lowest passing grade




















Course Organization

The Green Café course is a dynamic class with multiple activities occurring simultaneously, requiring adaptive management, active engagement, problem solving, and situational awareness. There is significant hands on activities day to day to run a café and strategic planning to ensure the café runs smoothly. The course theory is delivered through directed online learning, meaning there are few formal classroom lectures.  Weekly class time is structured and dedicated as a strategic meeting time i.e. harvest schedule, menu selection, training, staffing, debriefing etc.


Monday will include the meeting and harvest time.  Wed. have dedicated time to food prep and the operation of the café from start to finish. While students are registered in specific ‘lab’ time slots, there is hope that students can experience all sides of the business. 


Missing lab is significantly consequential to the team, and it is the responsibility of the student to ‘trade’ or ‘exchange’ responsibilities with a peer to ensure coverage.


Assignment Descriptions

Participation & Active Engagement (30%):  Operating a farm to table cafe will require significant engagement and participation, as each student’s contributions valuable. The weekly meeting time will be used to discuss the week’s logistics, managing a café, and discussion of course materials (10%). Learning about the operations of an organic farm, harvesting and food preservation skills, and local sourcing of products will take place at the Sustainability Farm (transportation provided). Students should expect farm activities to be outside in the fields ‘getting dirty’.  Each week a team of 5 students will operate the café, from food prep, service, and clean up.  Throughout the semester there will be pop-up cafes organized by students, and you should plan to attend at least three events (linked to final assignment Food as Culture: Reflective Paper). Assessment is based on attendance, taking initiative, team work, communication skills, & professionalism.

Reports (30%): There are three papers associated with the course materials (see above table). Each paper is limited to 3 pages’ content (1.5 spacing), excluding a title page and literature cited. Figures (diagrams/Images/maps) and tables, with meaningful titles and captions, may be incorporated.  Your work should be sourced appropriately for academic level writing.

Each paper is submitted electronically to SAKAI by midnight

  • Expository: Food Culture (10%, Due 20 Sept.) The goal of the expository report is to conduct research and investigate the meaning of Food Culture and to examine the nature and significance of diversity with and among groups. What does a country’s or communities agricultural practices, food, and history, and traditions tell us about culture and society? You should gather evidence (~12 sources) that food is connected to culture and present various points of view (local to global) by providing examples.  
  • Narrative: Personal Food Identify & Family Traditions (10%, Due 18 Oct.) The goal of the expository report is to write about food identity from your own point of view and experiences, including how social location shapes human interactions. You may include storytelling and anecdotes of you and your family’s traditions and cultural heritage.  Self-reflection is important to assess yourself; your ways of thinking, your behavior, beliefs, and values.   Exploring self-awareness allows you to perceive differences among others and acknowledge assumptions and biases. Self-awareness of a food identify is critical in developing inclusion and embracing the diversity of food culture in society. Credible sources are expected, if needed, to support your statements.
  • Report: Sustainability & Entrepreneurship (10%, Due 22 Nov.) The goal of the report is to explore sustainability & entrepreneurship as a business model.  The report is a technical look at business with core sustainability goals and should include aspects of innovation and creativity, as well aspects of social & environmental justice. Your report may focus on any area of business. It is expected you will have ~8 credible sources to support your model.

Pop-up Café Group Activity (25%):  The goal of the pop-up café is to broaden the café’s inclusiveness and provide students the opportunity to discuss and learn about different food cultures and to understand the dynamics of power and justice within and/or among groups or societies. Working in a team, students will host a pop-up café in collaboration with a student group (e.g. African Student Union, Asian Students Intercultural, Black Student Union, Chinese Students Association, French Club, I-House, Islamic Culture Club, Jewish Student Union, La Sociedad Hispana, Native American Student Alliance, Seed to Table, Hunting & Fishing Club). All stages of the Pop-up Café activity require significant consultation an openness with the participating student group. The event date and participating student group is due Mon. Sept. 9th in class.

  • Café Proposal (5%) Due 2 weeks before event date (Submit to SAKAI & Set up meeting with member of teaching team). The goal of the proposal is to ensure that your event is well organized and that each team member has clearly defined roles and expectations.  There are three components of the café proposal:
    • All aspects of event planning (see template form)
    • Cultural & Sustainability Goals
    • Food Education & Advocacy Messaging (May be achieved through social marketing)
  • Café Event Execution (10%). The success of the Pop-up Café will be assessed via peer and community comment cards on service, quality of food, messaging, and indicators of inclusiveness. 
  • Analysis (10%) Due 2 weeks after the event date (Submit to SAKAI & Set up post event meeting with a member of teaching team). The goal of the analysis is to examine the operational aspects of your café (achieving goals, planning effectiveness, marketing, executing menu, service).  Your analysis should be ~10 pages and should include photo’s, your marketing materials, menu, staffing plan. In addition to your cost analysis.

Food is Culture: Reflective Paper (15%). Due by the last day of classes.  Submitted electronically to SAKAI by midnight. The Food is Culture assignment is a comprehensive and an all-encompassing body of writing that reflects a synthesis of your understanding and openness to the traditions and values of other cultures. You should address both your place and the place of other cultures in society. You should draw upon the readings, discussions, and pop-up café experiences and critically reflect on the differences between or among different groups with regards to cultural issues (e.g. power and justice, beliefs, traditions). Can you address how to lead a pathway forward towards embracing culture and inclusiveness in communities? Your paper should be ~6 pages and include approximately 10 sources.

Course Policies

Attendance Policy: Punctual attendance is strongly encouraged and a participatory approach is critical for academic success in this course. It is the responsibility of the student to be accountable for their learning and prioritization of time and activities. Attendance will be taken at each event and a student’s commitment and ability to uphold high academic standards will be assessed as required. For meetings missed, students should have reviewed the course readings, posted lecture notes, and checked a class peer for notes and messages.

Late Penalties:  Assignments are to be submitted on the dates and times as shown on the schedule below. Assignments submitted past the designated date and times are deemed late. Late assignments are penalized 10% per calendar day (of the total marks available). For example, an assignment submitted after the specified time will be penalized 10% until midnight the following date, then 20% the day after until midnight, and so on.  An assignment more than five calendar days late will receive a grade of zero.

You can be exempted from the above late penalties if you have an arranged with the instructor or have documentation validated by your academic advisor or similar.

Academic Integrity, Accommodations, & Learning Support

The Word Studio: The Munn Center for Rhetoric and Communication maintains The WORD Studio in ODY Library—a place to get feedback from peers on assignments in Writing, Oral communication, Research, and Design of visual projects. You can come for a consultation to plan a paper or presentation; to find ways to improve the ideas, organization, and style of a draft; to videotape and review a presentation rehearsal; to practice a PowerPoint presentation, and more.  However, peer tutors are not proofreaders or editors who silently “fix” your work for you; instead, they are trained to have a conversation with you about ways you can fix problem areas yourself and become better overall communicators. You may use the WORD Studio for consultations on assignments for any of your courses. The tutors do ask that you bring your professor’s assignment sheet with you so that their feedback addresses the parameters of the assignments as specifically as possible.

The WORD Studio is open Monday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Friday, noon to 4:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 1:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. by appointment or for drop-in sessions, if tutors are available.  Consider making an appointment and sending your assignments in advance to minimize wait time and increase the productiveness of your session.  The email address is  You may also IM the Studio during regular hours with quick questions about grammar, citation, and style: SLUword.

Disability and Accessibility Services Office: If you have a disability and need accommodations please be sure to contact the Student Accessibility Services Office (315.229.5537, Madill) right away so they can help you get the accommodations you require. If you will need to use any accommodations in this class, please talk with me early so you can have the best possible experience this semester. Although not required, I would like to know of any accommodations that are needed at least 10 days before a quiz or test, so please see me soon.  For more specific information visit the Student Accessibility Services website:      or  Email:

Religious observances: Please inform the instructor at the beginning of term if special accommodation needs to be made for religious observances that are not otherwise accounted for in the scheduling of classes and assignments.

Academic Integrity: To maintain a culture of academic integrity, members of the St. Lawrence University community are expected to promote honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility.   

Course Schedule (draft)

Week 1 & 2

  • Administration: Teaching team introductions, course goals and administration. Safety training, café orientation, farm orientation.

Week 3 to 13

  • Café Meetings: Logistics, harvesting, café service
  • Weekly Discussion:  Assigned readings / documentaries from the materials list
  • See Assignments Deadlines:
    • Expository: Food Culture (10%, Due 20 Sept.)
      • Reading:
        • Mintz, S. W., & Du Bois, C. M. (2002). The anthropology of food and eating. Annual Review of Anthropology, 31(1), 99-119.
    • Narrative: Personal Food Identify & Family Traditions (10%, Due 18 Oct.)
      • Readings
        • Almerico, G. M. (2014). Food and identity: Food studies, cultural, and personal identity. Journal of International Business and Cultural Studies, 8, 1.
        • Moisio, R., Arnould, E. J., & Price, L. L. (2004). Between mothers and markets: Constructing family identity through homemade food. Journal of Consumer Culture, 4(3), 361-384.
    • Report: Sustainability & Entrepreneurship (10%, Due 22 Nov.)
      • Reading:
        • Ben-Eli, M. U. (2018). Sustainability: definition and five core principles, a systems perspective. Sustainability Science, 13, 1337-1343.
    • Café Proposal (5%) Due 2 weeks before event date
    • Café Event Execution (10%). DATE TBD
    • Analysis (10%) Due 2 weeks after the event date
    • Food as Culture: Reflective Paper (15%). Due by the last day of classes. 

Week 14

  • Café Debriefing & Class Discussion