GROWING A CAMPUS FARM DePauw students are discovering the joy of planting, and weeding, on the new Campus Farm. As a result, fresh, homegrown vegetables and other produce are joining the menu in the University’s dining halls. Beets, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, melons, peppers, potatoes, squash and tomatoes were among the ﬁrst crops planted on one acre of a seven-acre property owned by the University. It is located southwest of campus along the road leading to The Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics in the DePauw Nature Park. There also is an herb garden. “The Campus Farm will provide our students with an opportunity for hands-on experience, from which they will gain a greater appreciation for how the produce they see at the grocery store gets there,” says Carol S. Steele, associate dean of academic aﬀairs, director of sustainability and a master gardener. “They will also have a greater understanding of what it takes to feed a community.” Food produced from the garden will be served through DePauw’s dining services, and approximately 15 percent of the food will be given to a Greencastle food pantry for distribution to community residents in need. “We are working with the new campus dining service vendor, Bon Appetit, to make certain we are growing produce they can use in their cooking,” Steele says. “Bon Appetit has a
history of working with campus farms at other universities, and we look forward to learning from them about best practices.” A group of students, faculty and staﬀ worked for months to develop a plan for the Campus Farm. During the spring, the ground growth was burned, soil plowed and fencing installed in preparation for planting. Students and staﬀ do all the work on the farm, including planting, watering, weeding and harvesting. Sophomores Sara V. Blanton, music and biology double major, and Thomas L. Miller, physics major and Honor Scholar, remained on campus this summer to help care for the farm. In addition to general farm work, Miller has recorded the farm’s progress and published it online at http://depauwfarm.tumblr.com. “This is a huge step for DePauw, not only as a sustainable investment but also for us as a socially conscious campus,” Miller says. “With our own homegrown food, not only can students become involved with producing food that will feed everyone on campus, but we also are better able to be involved with the community by giving some of the food to people who need it.” There is a positive eﬀect on the environment, he says, because the dependence on renewable energy sources used in mass farming and mass transportation of food is decreased. And only organic gardening processes are used at the Campus Farm. Read more about the Campus Farm at www.depauw.edu/ oﬃces/sustainability/initiatives/campus-farm.
SUMMER 2013 DEPAUW MAGAZINE 11