This past week I was able to help the organic farm on campus with a super special project! For three quarters out of the year, the farm vends its produce in a market stand out on red square. Because a lot of money is involved in retaining organic certification and ensuring that what we grow on the farm is done in the most sustainable and nutritious way possible, our prices have to be on par with what you would expect high quality produce to cost. We’ve been grappling for a long time about issues of inaccessibility when it comes to getting students (who are mostly all on tight budgets because, well, students) organic produce from the farm without having to charge them prices that are higher than conventionally grown produce prices. It’s taken a while to finally come to a solution, but this past month the Clean Energy Committee approved a proposal that a friend of mine and the farm manager presented to them. That proposal asked that the CEC subsidize the farm in order to allow them to give a special 50% off rate specially for students. As of this past week, it is officially approved and put into action! So, I spent Wednesday with a friend who works on the CEC helping to update the advertising signs to make sure the word gets out to the student body here at Evergreen.
This is actually a pretty huge deal for the student body at Evergreen as well as the organic farm. Allowing the students to actually be able to afford the items grown on the farm will boost the levels of student engagement on the farm by a landslide. Allowing more students to become part of the organic food system on campus, we’re really hoping to see even more students feel like the farm is a place that truly is on Evergreen for them. Whether its simply just enjoying a few tasty snacks from the farm stand, becoming a member of the permaculture club and helping to take care of Demeter’s Garden (the space on campus reserved for permaculture), getting a community garden plot, or taking Practice of Organic Farming for the quarter, the organic farm is a haven for students on campus and continues to try to be an example of how growing and eating nutritious food is something that should be accessible to everybody.