Located on college campuses nation are are dorms, academic buildings, dining halls and a student union. And now, as Americans develop a green conscience, universities and millennials are jumping into the fray by practicing sustainable agriculture right on campus.
While numerous colleges across the country have community gardens, here are some of the standouts.
Pomona College Organic Farm
The long growing season in California makes it the perfect place for a campus garden. At the Pomona College Organic Farm, land is used for class as well as business. Started in 2005, the farm is part of the college’s Environmental Analysis program.
As part of the curriculum, students have the opportunity to not only maintain the plots, but also test real soil for soil sciences courses. Further, students use the farm as a tool when writing theses in areas such as politics, environmental science and science. On the business end, students operate a bi-weekly farms stand where the food is sold to those in the area.
Naira de Gracia is a recent graduate of the college and local farm manager.
“That’s the whole point of the farm; to invent and innovate and experiment,” de Grazia tells Sustainable Cities Collective. “I’m always discovering new alums who have done something awesome, who say they only were able to do this because of the farm.”
Central Carolina Community College Land Lab
The entrepreneurial-focused Sustainable Agriculture program educates students how to be financially and ecologically savvy in starting and operating a farm. The farm functions as a tool for biology courses as well, and after graduation, many students start their own farms.
An added benefit of having the Land Lab at Central Carolina Community College on campus is that the produce is used in the school’s culinary program.
Rutgers University Student Sustainable Farm
Located in New Jersey is the “nation’s largest organic farm managed by students.” The university’s Student Sustainable Farm is a self-sustained CSA program that is completely run by the student body. Each year, four to six student interns manage the operation with the assistance of faculty farm advisor Dr. Ed Durner from the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. The food produced by the farm is given to the shareholders and donated to local organizations who donate it to the needy in the area.
To learn more about collegiate sustainable farms, click here.