World Transformation: Learning to Farm Sustainably
 Learning to Farm Sustainably
picture 2 May 2004 @ 08:59, by ming

From Synergic Earth News: Laura Sayre writes: This photo from the fall of 2002 shows student workers in the fields of the OASIS Farm at New Mexico State University. Andy Giron is majoring in Agricultural Extension Education; Andrea Padilla in Family and Consumer Sciences. In 2002 the student farm cultivated 142 varieties of flowers, herbs, and veggies, and yielded 20,000 lbs of food (photo courtesy of Connie Falk). ... At colleges and universities across the country, students are finding--and founding--opportunities to make sustainable agriculture part of a well-rounded education. Many go on to farm organically in real life. “I think of the farm as an agent of change,” says Scott Stokoe, manager of the Dartmouth College Organic Farm in Hanover, New Hampshire. “A place where students can identify problems and figure out how to fix them.” Ivy-League Dartmouth is hardly known as a seedbed of student radicalism, but on two sandy acres overlooking the Connecticut River, that could be quietly changing. Stokoe confesses that when he was first hired to run the Dartmouth Organic Farm in 1997, he was uncertain whether to understand the project as a new chapter in the history of food politics or as the tail end of an older movement, finally surfacing at a fundamentally conservative institution. Seven seasons later, the farm has come to fill a small but beloved role within the Dartmouth College community, supplying fresh produce to one of the campus dining halls, helping students prepare for study-abroad programs in Africa and Latin America, and serving as a popular activity, especially for sophomores, who at Dartmouth are required to spend their summer quarter on campus. Today the farm has half a dozen paid part-time student workers, another dozen or so regular volunteers, and over 200 people on its email list. Stokoe and the students operate a farmstand on the main quad one day a week in season, grossing about $4000 a year. Meanwhile, as if in answer to Stokoe's question, similar programs have been taking root at colleges and universities across the country. (02/06/04)


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