Summer is slowly winding down, and that not only means the start a new school year but also harvest time of a bounty of fresh produce from campus farms and gardens — and, yes, even beehives. These sustainable efforts, usually overseen by students, promote learning, sharing and community building — both on and off campus with homegrown veggies often heading to campus dining halls and to local foods shelves. Here’s a look at what some of our members are doing.
The Medtronic Foundation Community Garden at Augsburg University brings together over 70 students, faculty, staff and neighbors of all ages to learn and grow together in personal and communal plots. Weekly workdays, special events and informal gatherings happen throughout the season, in partnership with Augsburg's Health Commons and Campus Kitchen. Visitors to the garden hear many languages, stories and learn about several creative planting techniques, garden structures and decorations. Hot peppers, tomatoes and greens are the most popular produce in the garden. Learn more on Augsburg's website.
The Carleton College Student Farm is a 1.5-acre student-run farm that uses organic techniques to grow produce that is sold to the college's dining halls. The farm is run by student interns, who get the unique experience of learning about sustainable farming practices by managing an organic farm on their own. The summer internship is a full-time paid position for 11 weeks, but the farm interns’ responsibilities extend into the entire calendar year as they plan, order, plant, weed, harvest, sell and prepare the land. Summer 2019 interns pictured here are Astrid Steiner-Manning '22, Rina Tanaka '20 and Tali Emlen '22. Learn more on Carleton's website.
Hamline students tend campus Peace and Appreciation garden beds, which contain food and flowers for the purposes of research, sharing and building community. Similarly, Hamline students grow tomatoes, squash, peppers, broccoli, sweet potatoes, flowers and greens in a nearby micro-farm with the goal of sharing with neighbors. Valentine Cadieux directs campus sustainability efforts, runs the environmental studies program and leads the student garden program, which offers internships to Hamline students who want to develop a green thumb.
Macalester Urban Land and Community Health (MULCH) runs the on-campus student community garden and chicken coop. The organization also puts on events and does outreach and education around sustainable food and agriculture. The food from the garden is used in various ways including donations to the Macalester food shelf, sold to the campus community and for a portion of the food in the dining program. The garden is producing tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, kale, green beans, Brussel sprouts and herbs. (Photo by Macalester student Dylan Kulik '20)
Minneapolis College of Art and Design
MCAD loves bees! In 2014, two beehives were added at MCAD, thanks to the efforts of MCAD Printshop Director Diana Eicher. The hives are maintained and monitored by MCAD staff and partners from the University of Minnesota Bee Squad's Hive to Bottle Program. To promote awareness about Colony Collapse Disorder and a greater understanding of human dependence on healthy pollinator communities, the MCAD Printshop and the MCAD Bee Club host on-campus honey tastings and workshops. Hundreds of pounds of honey have been produced, and all sales of MCAD honey directly support the ongoing maintenance of these hives.
Saint John's University
Edelbrock Greens, a deep winter greenhouse at Saint John’s University, focuses on sustainably producing organic leafy greens. In a controlled growing environment that uses aquaponics, Edelbrock Greens provides opportunities for members of the CSB/SJU community to learn and understand the components of a fully-sustainable growing operation. In addition to educating the community, the greenhouse provides fresh greens to the on-campus dining services, members of the CSB/SJU community and the local Minnesota Street Market. Learn more on Saint John's website.
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
The SMUMN Community Garden at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota yielded more than 626 pounds of produce last year. But some of the most important growth has come at a personal level: the increased comradery between student gardeners; the discovery of the meditative quality of communing with the land; the attainment of gardening and cooking skills; and a deep sense of service and fulfillment that comes from feeding the hungry. While students enjoy a portion of the harvest, the majority of the vegetables are donated to the Winona Food Shelf to address a need in our own community. Learn more on Saint Mary's website.
St. Catherine University
Sponsored by the St. Catherine University BioClub and Food Justice Coalition, the St. Kate’s community garden provides food for students across campus. The produce grown in the garden is donated to the St. Kate’s food shelf, where students who otherwise may not have enough to eat can receive fresh vegetables grown for them by their community members. The garden began as a small test plot in 2016. It expanded in 2017, occupying the four raised beds that exist today. The expansion was made possible thanks to funding from the College for Adults Student Advisory Board. Natalie Nation ’19 is pictured in the garden.
St. Olaf College
This summer Poonam Rawat '21 (left) and Matt Hallahan '21 are overseeing St. Olaf Garden Research and Organic Works (STOGROW), a farm-to-table operation that brought more than two tons of campus-grown produce into the college's dining hall last year. STOGROW farmers take an independent research course each spring to learn about organic farming and start planning their crops. In the summer, they work on the farm and participate in the college’s Collaborative Undergraduate Research and Inquiry (CURI) program. By the time they wrap up the fall harvest, they've gained hands-on experience in operating a profitable organic farming business. Learn more on St. Olaf's website.