Getting fresh, local produce can be a hassle in big cities. Ben Greene, who earned a master’s in industrial design at NC State in 2009, is trying to change that with something called the Farmery.
Greene first had the concept when he was studying for a master’s degree in industrial design at NC State that he received in 2009. He wanted to solve the problem of being able to buy local food in an urban area without having to drive to two different places for grocery shopping.
“I wanted to choose a field that hadn’t really been touched, and that was agriculture,” says Greene.
Greene brought together the farm and the retail grocery store to create a unique shopping experience that he calls the Farmery. The Farmery has three main parts: the farm, the grocery and the café. Some of the produce sold at the Farmery is grown within the facility, reducing packaging and transportation costs while providing the freshest possible produce to customers.
“Growing the produce right there in the shipment containers reduces spoilage and allows for more consistent crops,” says Greene.
One of the main crops grown at the Farmery are gourmet mushrooms, which can be expensive in retail stores and have a short shelf-life. Other crops grown at the Farmery include lettuce, strawberries and other greens.
Along with its unique concept, the Farmery had a unique way of raising money to get started. Greene used Kickstarter to raise $25,000 to fund the initial building, called the Mini-Farmery. Originally built in Clayton, N.C., and moved to Durham, N.C., to open in July of 2013, the Mini-Farmery can now be visited at Raleigh City Farm.
“We’re talking to people about getting the full-scale model,” says Greene. “We plan to start construction this fall and finish it in winter 2015.”
Greene’s main goal with the Farmery is to redefine what a grocery store is in urban areas. With an increased focus on local foods in cities, the Farmery provides a new standard for what a grocery store focused on local food should look like.
“Especially in the South, people are moving to bigger cities, and we want to be the retailer that takes advantage of that by providing local food for these urban markets,” says Greene. “The food is healthy, it’s good, and it’s all in one place.”
Adlai Stevenson was born with aspirations in his blood to one day live in the White House. His father, also named Adlai Stevenson, was Grover Cleveland’s vice president from 1893 to 1897.
So Stevenson the second spent much of his adult life trying to reach the highest levels of U.S. politics. He built on a successful career as a lawyer and served as assistants to the secretary of the Navy and to the secretary of state. He was elected governor in Illinois, serving a four-year term beginning in 1949.
And he ran for president as the Democratic candidate in 1952 and 1956, losing to Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower both times.
After those losses, President John F. Kennedy appointed Stevenson to be ambassador and chief of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations in 1961.
Stevenson was serving in that capacity on this day in 1962 when he kicked off a new series of speakers, known as the Harrelson Lectures, at NC State.
For much of his talk, Stevenson found himself having to defend the role the United Nations played in the world. He conceded that the United Nations lacked some power but that it was not a weak body. He also said the U.N. was “full of conflicts and contradictions,” according to The Technician, but that is “what the U.N. was built for — to overcome conflict, to keep from exploding into war, and ultimately to tame it into something like a true community.”
Given her name, it’s fitting that Snow Roberts found the inspiration to pursue adventure travel on trip in the scenic landscape of Alaska.
It was 2000 and she had just finished her master’s degree in parks, recreation and tourism management at NC State. The sense of accomplishment she felt from completing her graduate studies blended with the phenomenal backdrop of Prince William Sound to give her a feeling she longed to experience outside of a crammed office and 9-to-5 life. She kayaked for the first time. She battled the chill of the sound’s icy waters.
And Roberts, who now organizes trips for her Blue Highway Adventures, walked away changed.
“It was a very natural experience that fueled me for other trips,” she says. “I want to make every trip like that one. Just very unique.”
Roberts says she was also inspired to pursue a profession in adventure travel from the time in her youth she spent going to camps and forming bonds in small groups. She went to camps around North Carolina and even went on a three-week camping trip to California.
“I was just immersed in that experience where you meet an entire new group of people in a cabin,” she says. “You can forge great relationships that way. …I took this group of friendships that were formed through those experiences, and they stood the test of time.”
Snow Roberts at Bryce Canyon, Utah.
After graduate school at NC State, she worked for Broadreach, a company that sends kids on educational adventures around the world, for roughly 11 years. Then in 2013 she began Blue Highway Adventures on her own.
She’s now gearing up for a summer of trips that will send participants to exotic locales and incorporate crossfit training. But she’s finding that the business side of things offers her a new education and that doing her own marketing, web design and legal paperwork is far away from a bike ride through Holland or hike in Peru.
“There’s whole side of things not necessarily in my wheelhouse, and I’m having so much fun learning about it,” says Roberts, who explains the genesis of her first name is actually a family hand-me-down and a marketing coup. “It’s so unique. It serves me great in the travel adventure industry.”
Having lived in Traverse City, Michigan, for 22 years, John Flesher is accustomed to snow and cold weather by now.
But even he couldn’t help but feel a sense of awe at what Mother Nature did this winter — almost completely covering the Great Lakes with ice. Flesher, a correspondent for The Associated Press, wrote an article last month about ice covering nearly 90 percent of the Great Lakes, the first time that has happened since 1994.
John Flesher on frozen Lake Michigan
“It’s unusual for the entire surface area of the lakes to freeze over,” says Flesher, a 1980 NC State graduate who was editor of the Technician. “That just doesn’t happen. In order to have significant parts of the lake freeze over, it has to be really cold for a good period of time.”
And that’s what happened this winter, which has seen the Midwest and other sections of the country repeatedly get blasted with snow, ice and freezing temperatures.
For people who live and work around the Great Lakes, such drastic winter weather has created hardships and opportunities. In his article for The Associated Press, Flesher wrote about thousands of people taking advantage of Lake Superior being frozen over to explore caves with “dazzling ice formations.” But he also wrote about the challenges the ice presented for the crew of the Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw trying to clear paths on Lake Huron for vessels carrying essential cargo such as heating oil. The local newspaper in Traverse City recently had a photo on the front page, Flesher says, of joggers running eight miles across the frozen Traverse Bay.
“It’s just an illustration that nature is very powerful,” he says. “It has a real effect on the economy and our way of life. When these extremes come along, people simply have to cope with it.”
It was the 1960s and the newly organized School of Physical Sciences and Applied Math was growing so much so that it needed more space for its Department of Physics.
And on this day in 1962 NC State administrators announced that the physics department would get a new home.
“The modern structure, slated for completion in the middle of 1963, will enclose approximately 64,000 square feet of laboratory and office space, and it will be completely air conditioned,” read the administration’s statement in The Technician that year. The building’s plans promised a six-story facility to be built behind Harrelson Hall and be utilized for general lab space for undergraduate and graduate physics students. Lectures were still going to be held in Harrelson. And the new building was set to also host the Department of Experimental Statistics.
The proposed physics building in 1962. Photo courtesy of NCSU Libraries.
The building was constructed and eventually became what is now known as Cox Hall. It was named for Gertrude Mary Cox, a statistics expert and the first woman to be a full professor and department head at NC State. She was hired to begin the Department of Experimental Statistics here.
Some 25 years after she captured the attention of the world by refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks visited NC State to talk about the civil rights movement.
And on this day in 1981, a crowd of about 200 people gave Parks a standing ovation as she came onstage at Stewart Theatre.
Parks told the crowd that while much progress had been made, the civil rights movement needed to continue. “It is up to you and all of us to do our part to make this the great nation it was intended to be,” she said, according to an account of the speech in the Technician.
Parks said her arrest led others to rise up against racial oppression. “Just as I was against being mistreated, pushed around and denied an equal opportunity as a passenger on the bus,” she said, “so were many other people in Montgomery provided an incentive to not be pushed around.”
The civil rights movement succeeded, Parks said, because it captured the attention of people around the world. But she said that the effort needed to continue. She said that while there had been progress in areas such as public transportation and accommodations, racial segregation was still a problem in employment.
“Many are still unemployed in all parts of the country,” she said. “So we still have much to do.”
There’s no telling how much ridicule an NC State student would receive if he or she showed up on campus wearing Tar Heel blue. Especially this week, when the heated rivals take to the hardwood for the second time this ACC season.
But apparently wearing other schools’ designs was enough of a problem in 1955 that the student body president felt compelled to release a statement on the matter.
On this day in NC State history, Lloyd McForrest “Doc” Cheek, a senior in textiles from Gibsonville, N.C., asked students to make more deliberate choices in the attire they wore to campus, especially garments featuring monograms. According The Technician, Cheek argued that monograms celebrating any letter other than “the Red and White ‘S”" robbed the Wolfpack men’s monograms of their significance.
Cheek said “the men wearing our monograms have earned the privilege and these men should be accorded alone the honor of wearing monograms on Campus.”
The (still) new Hunt Library on Centennial Campus has something called a bookBot, a robotic book delivery system that holds about 1.5 million books inside a two-story 120-foot-long vault that can be seen through a large window on the library’s first floor.
It wasn’t that long ago that NC State didn’t have that many books in its entire library system.
It was on this day in 1981 that the Technician published a story celebrating the fact that D.H. Hill Library was about to reach 1 million books. It was the result of a push that had begun two years earlier, when NC State had only 850,000 library books.
Reaching the 1 million threshold was not just a matter of campus pride. NC State was trying to become a member of the Association of Research Libraries, and one of the requirements was a collection of at least 1 million books.
But even with 1 million books, the article noted that D.H. Hill’s collection still paled in comparison to the collections at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“We just got a late start,” said Isaac T. Littleton, then the director of libraries at NC State. “They had much higher budgets for so long. We didn’t start growing until the 1960s. They have had higher budgets for decades.”
The additional books did lead to less study space for students in the stacks. But then that’s part of the reason the new Hunt Library was built — to provide more library space for students.
And more room for the 4.6 million books (some of which are electronic) that NC State now has in its libraries.
As the new chancellor at NC State, John T. Caldwell pulled into Raleigh in 1959 in a station wagon loaded with two Siamese cats, a cocker spaniel named Shirin and three of his four children. His wife, Catherine Wadsworth Zeek Caldwell, arrived later in a Simca with the couple’s youngest child after having car trouble in Tennessee.
Getting set up in their new home was a challenge at first. (“We couldn’t find any sheets or towels,” Catherine Caldwell said. “And the children’s clothes are all mixed up.”)
But as her husband quickly went about the business of running the university, Catherine Caldwell settled into life in her new home. She told a reporter for The News & Observer shortly after arriving that she looked forward to getting to know the people of Raleigh and that she had already visited the state art museum. She dismissed concerns about any town versus gown difficulties.
“Some folks speak of town people and college people,” she said, “but I’ve always found friends everywhere.”
Caldwell had plenty of experience with campus life. She grew up on the campus of Southern Methodist University, where her father was a French professor. She studied French as an undergraduate at SMU and then Spanish in graduate school at Vanderbilt University after he father joined the faculty there. (She would later study Chinese, as well.) She met John Caldwell, who was then on the faculty at Vanderbilt, at a campus party. He was offered the job as president of Alabama College when he and Catherine were on their honeymoon. Caldwell was president of the University of Arkansas before coming to NC State.
Unfortunately, Catherine Caldwell’s time at NC State would be brief. She died at the age of 41 on this day in 1961 following a lengthy illness that confined her to the Christian Science Sanatorium in Chestnut Hills, Mass. She died at a nursing home in Boston.
“As the wife of a rising college administrator, she was a gracious hostess, charming entertainer and mother of their four children,” read a story on the front page of the Technician.
Chancellor John T. Caldwell with his wife, Catherine Wadsworth Zeek Caldwell, and their children, Andy, Chuck, Alice and Helen. (Photo courtesy of Historical State)
The Winter Olympics wrap up in Sochi, Russia, on Sunday, but not before some athletes get their last chance to capture a gold medal for another four years. Some of the most popular Olympians left competing are members of the four-man bobsled teams.
Hans DeBot and one of his Olympic sleds in his DeBotech shop. Photo courtesy of DeBotech.
And if you tune in to watch the bobsledding event on Saturday and Sunday, you will see just how much red and white compliment the blue of the American bobsled and skeleton teams. Hans DeBot graduated from NC State in 1993 with a mechanical engineering degree, DeBotech, his carbon fiber and composite parts company in Mooresville, N.C., built the Night Train 2, the bobsled that is trying to defend the gold medal the four-man team won in Vancouver four years ago.
DeBot says this may be his most rewarding project in a career that has included work in aerospace and military technology, NASCAR and the Aviation Racing Series. “It’s hard not to pay notice to the Olympics,” he says. “We’re especially making a difference. But was it a challenge. Sure, it was very risky.”
The risk DeBot refers to came in 2002 when he says an Olympic bobsledding hopeful named Bruce Rosselli came to him wanting DeBot to build a bobsled. “I didn’t know anything about the sport,” DeBot says, adding that he likes to solve any problem given to him. ” I didn’t know if he was a good driver. He didn’t have any money to do it. But I built that bobsled.”
DeBot’s sled showed up at the 2002 Olympics as a lighter ride made with carbon fiber instead of the usual heavier laminated glass and Kevlar. The U.S. team took home the silver and bronze medals that year in Salt Lake City.
Photo courtesy of DeBotech.
His Olympic involvement has led DeBot to partner on projects with former NASCAR driver-turned-bobsled-maker Geoff Bodine and BMW. DeBotech was brought in recently to help build the sleds used for the skeleton events, where athletes ride headfirst at speeds of 80 miles per hour on a sled that loosely resembles one the average Joe might go down on in the snow, and to help build the two-man bobsled.
DeBot’s work has made it to the podium in Sochi. The women’s skeleton team captured a silver, with the men’s team getting a bronze. The two-man men’s bobsled team won a bronze, the first medal won by Americans in the event in 62 years, and the two-man bobsled women’s team took home a silver and a bronze.
This weekend the four-man bobsled team will try to once again capture gold.
While many viewers choose to watch the tape-delayed results on NBC in prime time, DeBot says he and the 20 employees in his shop can’t wait for that and instead watch the events live in their shop.
“I pull it up on the T.V. in the shop so the employees can enjoy,” he says. “They get to sit back and say, ‘We’re sitting and watching our stuff come to life on television.’”