This fall, the Sustainability LLC has organized multiple “Food Fridays” which are trips to local businesses and organizations that produce food with a focus on sustainable practices. Some of the places I have had the opportunity to visit through this program include the Sustainable Student Farm, the campus apple orchard, and Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery. The first Food Friday I went to at the Student Sustainable Farm was a very fun experience. We got to tour the farm and learn about drip irrigation as well as the newly constructed high tunnels. High tunnels are long greenhouses constructed out of metal piping and an insulating plastic. What was especially interesting was that these high tunnels allow for crops to be grown during a longer season because the temperature within the tunnels remains warm enough longer into the winter. Anther cool thing I learned during this trip was that a large quantity of the produce used in the U of I dining halls is produced at this farm which relies on student volunteers. I think it’s good that the University is trying to adopt sustainable practices such as using local products in the dining halls such as the fruit and vegetables from the Student Sustainable Farm. The second trip I got to go on was to an apple orchard that is used for research at the University. One thing that shocked me was that this orchard didn’t consist of long rows of large apple trees. Instead, there were many rows of relatively short trees that were probably only 7 feet tall. I learned that the reason for this was to facilitate picking of the apples. Also, growing many rows of these smaller trees right next to each other can maximize production per acre. The best part of this trip, by far, was getting to taste test some of the apples right off the tree. These apples, which were grown using a very low amount of pesticides, tasted far better than their store-bought cousin. The most recent Food Friday I attended was to Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery. We had the opportunity to see the goats as well as the facilities used for milking. This farm was one of the first in the state to use the milk from its goats to produce cheese and gelato at the same location. We were able to try some of the goat cheese and different types of gelato—some of the best cheese and gelato I’ve ever had. I even bought a container of pumpkin flavored gelato to take home and it made for a delicious fall treat. Overall, the thing that has kept me coming back to Food Fridays is the combination of learning interesting new things in an interactive way and, of course, the delicious free food!