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Autumn is just around the corner, and, as the leaves start to turn, the annual student migration to Trent will be in full swing. Many of the returnees are the wise old birds who know the best crevices, fishing holes, and nesting spots, be they in town or on campus. Others are best avoided. Red eyed hardcases. Egg breakers. Nest stealers. Razor beaks always at the ready.

Dotted among them are fledglings, blinking in the light of new independence, unsure of their wings, yet eager to savour the sights,  sounds, and flavours of the new world at their feet.

This edition of Arthur is dedicated to illuminating the varied opportunities that that world has to offer.

Imagine, if you will, that the university is a giant bakery, and the students are raw ingredients that could go in any of a number of directions. The people you spend time with and the stuff you get up to will largely determine what you end up being.

So if you’re an egg, and you hang out at local hotspots with your buds Butter and Sugar, you may end up being a cake. Or a muffin. If you’re a tomato, proud of yourself and your cool friends Basil and Garlic, you could be going down the bruschetta/salade niçoise route. See what I mean? What you do—and how and with whom you do it—exerts a huge influence on the person you become.

So, casting all laboured metaphor aside, let me tell you about the Seasoned Spoon Café.

The Spoon is a non-profit, vegetarian, cooperative café located in Champlain College at Trent University. It has been called the coolest place on campus, and not just by me.

It is not just a café; it is a place that seeks to offer students, staff, and community members an experience that might just change the way they see the world.

Our mandate is to serve affordable, local, organic food, which just happens to be utterly delicious. But, like a regular spoon, which rarely makes only one trip to the plate, there’s more to our journey than that.

That’s right, we take our role in the community as seriously as we take our corn chowder recipe, whether it’s providing much needed jobs for students and local residents, or partnering with Trent Centre for Community Based Education on student research projects.

We also serve up all kinds of educational initiatives through volunteer opportunities, reskilling workshops, visiting speakers and conferences. That’s a different kind of food, though no less nutritious and sustaining.

Local and organic growers using ethically defensible production methods are at the heart of our philosophy. I think we can all agree that gargantuan multinational corporate chemo-food conglomerates have done their best to grind healthy local food structures into genetically modified tomato paste.

While that may be good news for shareholders, it’s not necessarily that great for individuals and their health.

Well, your membership in the Seasoned Spoon Co-operative can help us to redress that balance somewhat, by supporting small scale local producers and ultimately revitalizing our regional agricultural system.

Activism and awareness are the secret seasonings in everything we serve. Starting September 5, we’re open Monday to Friday, 8:00-3:30, while classes are in session. Come on by for a slice of walnut pear cake and commit a simple act of scrumptious revolution.

For more information go to seasonedspoon.ca or stop by and speak to one of our staff.