Though students are expected to learn about sustainable farming when volunteering at the University of Washington Farm, for some, their volunteer experience cultivates confidence, leadership skills, and friendships within a close-knit community of students who just enjoy gardening and sharing wholesome food.
The UW Farm owes its beginnings to a group of graduate students who wanted to garden, says Rachel Stubbs, farm coordinator for the Center for Urban Horticulture (CUH). With that humble start in 2004, the farm has grown to become the campus center for the practice and study of urban agriculture and sustainability. Though it is only a third of an acre on the main campus and half an acre at CUH, “people think it’s this huge thing,” Rachel says.
What began as an environmental studies project in 1999 at Dickinson College has evolved into a flourishing organic farm. From a handful of eager student gardeners, who began with a small garden plot on campus that grew into a half-acre plot, gradually the program grew as it attracted greater student interest, says Matt Steiman, assistant manager of production for the farm.
Today, the farm sits on 50 acres of land, in Boiling Springs, Pa.—about six miles off campus—that was donated to the college in the 80s. When the students approached the college administration, they were met with a great reception, says Steiman, with the only stipulation being that the farm had to be educational.
News Release – (FREEPORT, Maine, July 6, 2012) – At a time when the average age of the American farmer is 57 years old, four teens from the Freeport area are taking sustainable farming seriously – and helping to fill food pantry shelves as they do.
After weeks of toiling through downpours and heat waves, Wolfe’s Neck Farm’s new Teen Ag Crew has finally begun to harvest the result of their hard work. This week they made their first delivery of over 80lbs of chard, kale, lettuce, spinach and basil to Freeport Community Services (FCS).
The following is a post by Mary Lissone, a veteran gardener and one of the first to be recruited by longtime friend Karen George to help set up the Westchester Urban Farm (WUF) in Los Angeles, CA. Lissone provides advice, content and design for the project, communicating the WUF story in multiple formats to get people excited.
As with all journeys, a reason for taking the first step is always needed. None could have been more earnestly felt than one mother’s wish to help rehabilitate the reputation of her son’s local high school.
Much was already in progress – in 2011 it became a magnet school, Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnet (WESM), specializing in Aviation & Aerospace, Environmental & Natural Science and Health & Sports Medicine; but it was receiving little attention as most of the community had already “decided” on its image and nothing short of an ET landing and benediction would change it. Even the impressive solar panel project in the parking lot (highly visible) didn’t seem to elicit any response.
Cornell University was once called the “The first American university” because of its accessibility to students regardless of race, social circumstances, gender or religion, university officials say.
“That was quite a departure from other institutions at that time,” said Michael Hoffmann, director of the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station and associate dean for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He noted that many other institutions at the time Cornell was founded (1865) were just focused on educating the elite class. “(Cornell) also offered practical classes: technology and agriculture. When you stop to think about it, agriculture was a major industry in the country at that time.”
Now, Cornell University, a land-grant university, is not only focused on teaching agriculture, but sustainable agriculture in particular. Cornell has future generations in mind as it helps students prepare for careers in agriculture. It has various outlets for promoting sustainable agriculture, including its curriculum, research projects and extension activities.