Friday, October 28, 2011

Something old, something new

Lindsey Treffry | The Argonaut

The music and sounds of Johann Sebastian Bach filled the University of Idaho Haddock Performance Hall as part of the inaugural opening to the first ever Idaho Bach Festival.
Led by UI artistic director Michael Murphy, the festival began Thursday evening and will run until Friday afternoon.
“I think the reason why I decided that I wanted to be the art director of a Bach festival is because it became apparent speaking with colleagues and the public that people are drawn to performing and hearing the music of Bach,” Murphy said. “His music is enjoyed by many, many people — no matter what culture, ideology or religion ... people enjoy his music and are captivated by his music across many, many different cultures.”
The festival on Thursday showcased students, professors and community members with an opening by the Northwest Wind Quartet as well as a closing ceremony by the Idaho Baroque consort, the Vandaleers concert choir (a top UI audition choir), and remarks by Murphy. Murphy said some performers came from as far as the San Francisco area to participate in the festival.
Maggie Rodriguez, a member of Vandaleers concert choir, sang a Bach Cantata with the choir as part of Thursday’s festival, and had a solo in another movement.
“I’d done a couple songs by (Bach) in choir and I’ve heard some of his solo music, but I wouldn’t say I knew a whole lot,” Rodriguez said. “Definitely, in rehearsal and stuff (in preparation for the festival) we’ve been talking about his particular style.”
Rodriguez said she had to be solid on her solo because a flute soloist, as well as an orchestra that played a large range of chord progressions, had accompanied her.
“Bach uses a bunch of runs, it’s a lot quicker,” Rodriguez said. “And it’s a lot lighter because it’s Baroque music.”
Friday events include solo performance as well as a performance of Bach’s “Wedding Cantata,” and three lecturers about Bach compositions.
“All of these performers (and lecturers) are doing this work and preparation free of charge,” Murphy said. “Students have limited resources as far as money, and all the concerts are free. To get the level of talent they’ll be hearing — it’s unheard of.”
Shoko Nelson, UI graduate student in piano pedagogy, will begin the Friday performances in Haddock with her six-part interpretation of Bach’s Partita No. 2, BWV 826. Although Nelson has played classical piano for approximately 23 years, she said trying out for the festival was tough.
“You really need to learn this piece very well,” Nelson said. “It’s not like a (Frederic) Chopin piece — it’s not romantic — it’s Baroque style. It’s a different voice in each movement and you need to organize those things. It’s hard.”
Nelson said she had previously played pieces by Bach, but said the festival will provide performances of pieces she had never heard. Nelson also said she was excited for professor Kay Zavislak’s lecture of “Interpreting Toccata in D Major, BWV 912, on a Harpsichord.”
Other Friday lectures include “Frozen Improvisations: Bach’s Works for Unaccompanied Instruments as Artifacts of Improvisatory Practices” by lecturer John Lutterman and “Parody Techniques in J.S. Bach’s Pfingsttag Cantatas” by lecturer Michael Porter.
Nelson said the festival should expose students to something new, and even if a piece is well-known, the performer may have a different aspect or interpretation.
“It’s good to explore something yourself, even for (those who are) not music students,” Nelson said. “You may not know about Bach or understand classical music, but that doesn’t mean necessarily you can’t listen to it or enjoy it.”
Friday performances will conclude at the First Presbyterian Church with solo performances of the organ works of Bach.
“Obviously if Bach is still around today,” Rodriguez said. “...there is something important about him.”

As seen in Oct. 28 issue of The Argonaut.

Small town atmosphere found at Bishops’ Orchard

Lindsey Treffry | rawr

Symmetrical lines of green trees stretch to the horizon. The smell of rotting apples and pears on the orchard floor is potent and sweet. The birds are chirping against a light breeze, and in the distance, there is the slightest sound of apples churning in a press.
This is the scene of Bishops’ Orchard. The orchard started in 1978, when Stephen Bishop and his wife moved to Garfield, Wash., where Bishop had deep family roots. He had experience in citrus orchards from the Peace Corps and knew at some point in his life, he wanted to own an orchard.
Bishops’ is opperated solely by family members, except for the extra help hired during harvest time.
“We devote all of our summers to working the orchard,” Bishop said.
The orchard has a south-facing slope and 18 acres of land. This summer, the apples were off schedule, blooming on May 31 compared to early May.
“I’ve never seen that before in my life,” Bishop said.
Even without Red Delicious and Rome apples this year, the weather was cooperative for the entirety of the season. The best crops included Macintosh, the primary apple of the orchard, Spartan, Empire, Golden Delicious and Liberty apples.
Along with these apples, and other breeds, Bishops’ offers cider presses for fresh apple cider.
“When we started the orchard we didn’t expect the cider to be as popular as it has,” Bishop said. “Our original plan was to grow and sell apples, and we didn’t think (cider would) be a big thing. It’s become the tail that wags it on.”
In two cider sheds, apples are washed, added to the “hopper,” chopped into a mash and then pressed. The juices are drained into a bowl, which can be poured into a gallon for $5.
“The cider is delicious,” said Paige Reid, University of Idaho American studies major and Bishops’ Orchard customer. “It’s a really fun activity to do with a group of people.”
Reid said there is usually a wait for the cider presses, but said in the meantime, her and her group generally walk around and pick apples off the trees to eat.
During the off-season, all of the equipment gets put away. Around the end of December, Bishop and his brother plan on pruning. Bishop generally tends to one or two farming machines or, like last year, builds additional cider presses.
In the early spring, pruning begins and in the last couple years, the Bishop clan has planted new trees.
Most of the trees are originals from 1978, but some non-productive trees have been replaced. The newest additions include English cider apple trees.
All of the trees are insecticide free, although that wasn’t always the case. Shortly after insecticides were eliminated, Bishop said a new bird population increased, reducing the amount of insects too, except wasps. Pheromones are used as a weapon against moth populations, otherwise known as the classic worm in the apple. These pheromones are used in place of insecticides and are safer, but pricier.
“It’s nice to have a normal environment,” Bishop said. “But it’s expensive.”
Which may be the reason Bishop employs family members.
“On busy days it can get real hectic,” Bishop said.
Busy days don’t seem to affect the staff, though.
“People who are there have always been friendly, working and using cider presses,” Reid said. “It’s not like they’re hovering over you. You definitely have independence ... But there is someone to help you if you need it.”
Bishop said he encourages people to come because it’s a great outing, especially in the Pullman and Moscow area. He said their fruit is reasonably priced, too, at 40 cents per pound.
“It’s like you’re in the country in a small town …” Bishop said. “When you’re in the middle of the orchard you can look out into the fields.”
Bishop said he often takes walks with his wife around the orchard and encourages others to do so too. Depending on weather, Bishops’ Orchard will close either Oct. 30 or Nov. 6.
“It’s not a carnival or anything like that,” Bishop said. “There’s no hay ride, dog or pony show here. It’s just an orchard.”   

As seen in the Oct. 28 issue of rawr.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

NYC to UI: Occupy Wall Street movement comes to campus

Lindsey Treffry | The Argonaut

Voices boomed over a loudspeaker outside the Idaho Commons as a crowd held up signs for economic reform.

A local branch of Occupy Wall Street, a mass protest movement against “corporate greed and corrupt politics,” gathered at the University of Idaho and students picketed from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday before marching downtown to join forces with Occupy Moscow in Friendship Square.

Sarah Sundquist, a landscape architecture major and Occupy Moscow member, helped form the Occupy UI group and handed out fliers to inform students prior to the event.

“Basically, Occupy Wall Street started by a group of people that saw that the system of government was not working as is,” Sundquist said. “(One) of the main goals is to … just make it so that corporations are not involved in politics because as it is right now, basically whoever has the most money wins elections.”

Sundquist has been meeting with the Occupy Moscow group for two weeks now. She said there seemed to be a disconnect between the campus and the rest of the Moscow community.

“A lot of people are still just unaware of what this movement is,” Sundquist said.
Another Occupy Moscow member, Raleigh Blum said during a general assembly for the Occupy Moscow group members set up a student outreach committee to get them interested in the movement. Blum said the movement is essential for economic reform.

“It’s hard to get a job right now,” Blum said. “Jobs are being outsourced and cut.”

Blum also said students are graduating with degrees, yet don’t get degree-specific jobs.

Overall, Sundquist said the movement is different for every member.
“There are some things there seems to be a consensus on …  the economy is one right now,” Sundquist said. 

Katelyn Taylor, a UI political science major, attended Occupy UI and wasn’t previously involved in Occupy events. 

“I’m scared my voice will no longer be valid no matter how hard I work,” Taylor said to Occupy UI attendees and bystanders over the microphone.

Fliers at the event also promoted “Bank Transfer Day,” which endorses the movement of funds from major banking institutions to non-profit credit unions Nov. 5 as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Taylor said Occupy UI prompted her to take money out of bank accounts in order to “stick it to the man.”

“Our ability to create situations (like Occupy Wall Street) is what our government — our democracy — should be about,” Taylor said.

A voter registration table was also set up at Occupy UI.

“Students can be involved in their democracy and we as a group have the power to do that,” Sundquist said.

Blum said Occupy Wall Street has had a hard time convincing people to join the movement. “This movement is happening in 82 countries worldwide,” Blum said.

Sundquist said a date is not set for another Occupy UI event, but students can attend Occupy Moscow pickets every day from 4 to 6:30 p.m. in Friendship Square. 

“Generally it’s just important to note that even though main stream media portrays this movement as being kind of a bunch of hippies playing on bongo drums, it’s really not,” Sundquist said. “Everyone who has been coming in our group is a full-time student or works full time … It’s a really diverse group of people. I kind of just want to encourage people to not look at the stereotypes, and think of what is important to them and how the system is working for them.”

As seen in the Oct. 21 issue of The Argonaut.

Banana squash, plums and lentils

Lindsey Treffry | rawr

With the weather dropping below 50 degrees, University of Idaho students and the Moscow community are preparing for winter — with fruits and vegetables.

The UI Cooking Basics classes are funded through Student Health and co-sponsored by Verna Bergmann, the campus dietitian, and the Wellness Program. The classes, hosted by Bergmann, feature a guest chef or instructor, and are held once a month at the Student Recreation Center.

“Generally, the focus is how to start where you’re at with what cooking equipment and facility you have,” Bergmann said.

The Oct. 13 cooking class, featuring Sandy McCurdy, an extension food safety specialist, focused on canning and drying fruits and vegetables. McCurdy, with the assistance of students enrolled in UI nutrition and science courses, prepared a lesson on how to can salsa, dry fruit leather and apple rings, and how to make dried “apple pie.”

“Students might end up with some extra apples,” McCurdy said. “You may think, ‘These would be great if I preserved them and dry them into a snack later.’”

Class attendees included a small handful of Moscow community members and UI students. The assistants helped slice and dice fresh produce that was then made into salsa and canned using a water-bath method, where glass jars are placed into an oversize kettle, that provides at least a 1 1/2 inch space of water over the jar top.

Other attendees helped slice apples into rings to dry in a dehydrator, while an assistant smoothed commercial applesauce over a tray to be dehydrated too.

Kenna Gardes, UI senior nutrition major, had never attended a Cooking Basics class before, but said she learned a lot.

“My mom just got a dehydrator so now I have some ideas,” Gardes said.
Gardes said she plans on trying the apple pie recipe on her own, and if successful, she will try to make other flavors.

“I really like cooking,” Gardes said. “I like to find new ways to make food, preserve food and new techniques.”

Samples of the recipes were set to the side of the room, surrounded by seasonal vegetables and fruit, to taste at the end of the class. Two boxes of fresh produce were also available for attendees to take home, donated by the Soil Stewards, a UI club for organic farming and sustainable community food systems.

“The effort (of leading the classes) is to talk to and teach students how to use what they’ve got and what’s seasonal — the most tasty, nutritious meals on a budget,” Bergmann said.

According to McCurdy, canning equipment is generally inexpensive, but dehydrators can be more than $100. McCurdy said dehydration can be done in the oven at home, with the door propped open, as long as the oven can reach low temperatures of 145 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bergmann said students should attend classes to enjoy, learn and get to know food in a personal way.

“It’s really empowering to students,” Bergmann said. “Students have said they had no idea they could make their own food and be creative. It’s all about wanting to take care of yourself, to eat better and with less cost.”

The next Cooking Basics class is from 4 to 5 p.m. Nov. 17 in the SRC classroom. Monir Desouky from UI campus dining will be the guest host for “Bake Your Own Bread.”

To see a full list of classes throughout the year, visit

As seen in the Oct. 21 issue of rawr.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Local, healthy, sustainable: Campus Dining serves local food as part of National Food Day

Lindsey Treffry | Argonaut

Locally-grown meats and vegetables were served to University of Idaho students Monday as part of National Food Day, a national effort to bring together students, instructors, health professionals, community members, and food providers to support healthy, local and sustainable food.

“It’s been explained as ‘Earth Day for food’ with the focus being on local and sustainable food options,” said Nathaniel Prior, the marketing manager for UI Campus Dining.

For the event, vegetables offered at J Street Cafe in the Idaho Commons and at Bob’s Place were purchased from Soil Stewards, an organic UI plant science research farm, while pot roast and sausages were purchased from Vandal Brand Meats. The UI Sustainability Center set up a table in the Commons to inform students of fair trade, pesticides, and smart food purchases, and campus dietitian Verna Bergmann was at Bob’s to talk about eating well and nutrition. Donna Mills, from Soil Stewards, provided pumpkins for a painting contest that will be judged over the weekend.

Some of the main goals for Food Day, as posted on the movement’s website, included the expansion of accessible food to alleviate hunger, the support of sustainable farms and fair conditions for food and farm workers, as well as the reduction of diet-related disease and the promotion of safe, healthy foods. Food Day also calls for protection of the environment and animals by reforming factory farms, and for the reduction of junk-food marketing to children.

“It’s a fun way to be able to showcase (campus dining sustainability efforts) and inform patrons that may not have been aware,” Prior said.

Fact sheets about campus dining sustainability efforts from 2010 to 2011 were posted around the cafe. These efforts include the eradication of food trays as well as disposable plates and silverware. Individual condiments are now offered in bulk. And, if students bring their own reusable cups, espresso drinks are discounted by 25 cents and drip coffee by 10 cents in order to reduce paper waste. Other efforts include the use of Aspretto coffee and tea at Bob’s Place, which is 100 percent USDA certified Organic, as well as the use of biodiesel in Sodexo delivery trucks.

Prior said campus dining has purchased produce from Soil Stewards in the past, but more so this year. They have also partnered with Vandal Meats in the past for concession, retail and resident dining.
Fred Hisaw, animal science major, works at Vandal Meats as part of his undergraduate research. He said Sodexo purchased pot roast as part of Food Day.

“One of the big benefits is that it just keeps that money local, so the local area producers can get that money back that they invested in the product,” Hisaw said.

According to Prior, 1.9 percent of campus food comes from Latah County, while 73.1 percent is from the Northwest region.

“We try very, very hard to try and purchase food locally,” Prior said.

Jennifer Emerson, volunteer coordinator for the UI Sustainability Center, helped set up a display for Food Day to showcase campus sustainability efforts as well as information on the local food economy.

“I think that maybe it’ll just make (students) more aware of purchases they make and what they put in their body and the economy around food,” Emerson said. “It will give them a chance to take a look at where food comes from and to appreciate it better.”

Emerson said the center also gave out information about foods with high amounts of pesticides, like apples, and information on how to make healthier choices when shopping at the grocery store.
This was the first ever Food Day at UI and around the country, but it is planned to occur annually on Oct. 24 throughout the nation.

“We definitely hope to continue it and it will catch on,” Prior said. “Food is something that is very important to all of us — to be more aware of what we’re eating and how it really impacts everything around us.”

As seen in the Oct. 25 issue of the Argonaut.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Organic grass-fed music

Lindsey Treffry | rawr

Music flows through the aisles of tofu and gluten-free breads. The espresso grinder whizzes and cashiers ring up groceries, filling empty green bags. Groups of people sit near round tables with soups and salads fresh from the deli, all facing a man with a guitar. It’s just another Tuesday night at the Moscow Co-op for the music series.

The free, live music performances are from 5 to 6:30 p.m. year-round and are led by Co-op music coordinator Chelsey Bryd Lewallen.

“It’s a good place to come relax and take a break from homework, (and) to unwind after a busy Tuesday,” Lewallen said.

Lewallen is in charge of booking all the gigs. She recruits new musicians and asks previous performers to return. She said she often goes to Bucer’s or One World Cafe to find new musicians.

“I have a big list of 50 musicians,” Lewallen said.

David Roon is one of them. The University of Idaho fish and wildlife and biology professor performed his Celtic folk-rock music on Oct. 4 at the Co-op. Roon plays guitar and sings original songs and covers.

“(The Co-op musicians) are extremely talented and there is lots of UI community,” Roon said.

Roon will be taking over Lewallen’s position, while she is on leave for the end of her pregnancy.

“We’re interested in a wide range of performers,” Roon said. “It’d be great to set students in here to do sets.”

Lewallan said interested musicians can drop off their demos to her on Tuesdays or during the week to any cashier.

“A lot of people enjoy playing,” Lewallan said. “They get a Co-op gift card and a $5 deli voucher.”
Performers can play outside, but since the recent change of weather, they have been set up in the front corner of the Co-op, near the deli.

UI microbiology and medical graduate student, Chuck Schultz, said he comes to the Co-op once in a while, but didn’t know it was Music Tuesday.

“It’s open and no one’s doing anything that music would take away from,” Schultz said.

Schultz said he comes for the food, where a slice of bread and tea costs a total of $1.85.

The remaining performances for October include Dan Faller, a contemporary country artist, and Bart Budwig who plays alternative country and blues.

As seen in the Oct. 14 issue of rawr.