We Over Me Farm

Paul Quinn College can be found outside of Dallas and has recently made news for restructuring the higher education system. Where a football field once stood, there now lays a two acre organic farm. Located in a federally recognized food desert, the college aims to enhance local food security. The farm is maintained by student-employees who strive to make their community a better place through healthier eating habits, improved food access, and environmental stewardship.

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“I tell people all the time, ‘Listen. We’ve sent more kale to the NFL than we ever did football players,’” [President] Sorrell said.

The student body manages all farm activities, including marketing and business planning, providing real-world, hands-on experience. With the yields, 55% is sold to restaurants, including the Dallas Cowboys AT&T Park, 25% is sold to residents, and 10% is donated to food pantries. This gives those living within a food desert access to the fresh fruits and vegetables they require.

So the question is, why haven’t more schools jumped on board? Though arguments can certainly be made about the cost-effectiveness about organic farming, little can be said to refute the environmental and health benefits of it. Similarly, emissions as a result of transportation of produce imported from non-local sources is a large contributor to global greenhouse gases. By having the produce grown locally, these emissions can be reduced significantly.

Perhaps the reason more young-adults don’t grow their own food is because they lack the knowledge of how to do so. By educating kids on the know-hows of gardening, from start to finish, more would do so. If there were a class offered at CU to participate in a community garden, I’m willing to bet it would be very popular among students. The yields could be given to restaurants around campus, donated to food banks, or taken home by the students. Regardless, a campus farm would enable the community to eat healthier, gain knowledge, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and allow for students to make a real difference.

http://www.weovermefarm.com/

http://www.fox4news.com/news/156951210-story

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “We Over Me Farm

  1. amyquandt

    What is a food desert? How are they selling to residents of the area? A farmers market or vegetable stand?

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  2. Kellen Merrigan

    By definition of the USDA, “Food deserts are defined as parts of the country vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas. This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and healthy food providers.” (http://americannutritionassociation.org/newsletter/usda-defines-food-deserts)

    As far as the methods of selling, I’m not sure. Seeing as how they are in a food desert, I doubt a farmer’s market is an available option. I would guess they likely establish a vegetable stand on campus void of any other vendors.

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  3. fipe0191

    I found this idea really interesting! Not only does this community garden provide fresh produce tp the surrounding communities, but it also teaches young people how to grow and harvest their own food, therefore increasing their connection to agriculture. It’s surprising that something like this doesn’t exist in Boulder.

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    • Kellen Merrigan

      Since posting this blog, I have found something similar on the CU campus.

      “CU students, new and old, who are interested in learning how to garden, live more sustainably, and meet likeminded friends are welcome to garden with us! […] CU in the Garden strives to create an inclusive community of students who believe in cultivation of the earth as a step towards sustainability and well being! We plan to do this through (1) educating (2) building community and (3) greening CU” (https://www.facebook.com/cuinthegarden/about/?entry_point=page_nav_about_item&tab=page_info).

      I was pleased to find out about this program but am curious as to what they do with the yields

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