How do you like them apples?

Sustainable soul food

Published by James Cressman, Date: September 15, 2023

The sound of the breeze brushing against the trees, birds excitedly chirping and bees pollinating the flowers. It is a serene scene at the Macoskey Center, quiet, gentle, and peaceful. It is hard to believe that it sits less than a mile from the hustle and bustle of campus life here at Slippery Rock University (SRU).

This cloudy and cool Tuesday morning has proven to be a perfect day to pick apples, which is exactly what student workers and volunteers are working doing.

They’ve been tasked with collecting the apples that will be used for a special workshop taking place Friday Sept. 15, 2023.

This workshop will be a feature of the Soul Food Initiative, a program that was created and adapted as a student-run production by Fadoua Loudiy and Franklyn Charles, both assistant professors in the strategic communication and media department. Soul Food offers the extension of communication beyond words.

Food is international, everyone from all corners of the world and walks of life need food, eat food, associate a part of their life with food. The Soul Food Initiative offers viewers the opportunity to learn and understand about different cultures while at the same time perhaps learning something about themselves.

Shawn Davis, assistant professor in the Parks and Recreation Department, will walk attendees through the process of making hard cider, beginning with the pressing of the apples to the stages of fermentation. Those in attendance of legal age will have the opportunity to taste hard apple ciders along with some crackers and cheese.

While chatting with Dr. Davis about the upcoming event he shared that his passion for making homemade hard cider began while living in For Collins, Colo. where he earned both his masters and doctoral degree from Colorado State University.

At the time, Davis already enjoyed making homemade wine with friends, some who whom owned apple trees.

“I had several friends who owned apple trees and wouldn’t know what to do with all the excess apples, ”Davis said. It was at that time that they decided to give making homemade cider a try.

Davis’s hard apple cider event will bring an entire new dimension to the Soul Food Initiative. Offering viewers, the opportunity to learn about culturally enriched foods that come from sustainability.

When asked how many people were expected to be in attendance, Davis informed us that there were 25 spots that were filled-up within the week that they were first opened.

Davis’s enthusiasm and passion for his work as a professor and a conservationist, is sure to captivate, educate and entertain the attendees of Friday night’s event. Whether you are interested in learning about sustainability, an avid viewer of Soul Food or enjoy a good hard cider, this workshop will bring everyone together.


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