The Sustainable Student Farm began in 2009 as a collaboration of the Student Sustainability Committee, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science (NRES), the College of ACES, and University of Illinois Dining Services. Initial funding was a grant from the Student Sustainability Committee, a student-run organization that collects fees from all U ofI students and then awards grants and loans to foster sustainability on campus. Additional funding has been provided by U of I Dining Services and the College of ACES.
In August of 2009, the horticulture program, including the Sustainable Student Farm, moved administratively from NRES to the Depart ment of Crop Sciences, where the farm is now housed.
The Sustainable Student Farm is located in the new U of I fruit farm at the southeast corner of Lincoln and Windsor Roads in Urbana. We grow vegetables on 6 acres of land; roughly 3 acres are in production and 2+ are fallow. We grow salad greens, such as arugula, kale, mizuna, spinach, leaf lettuce, romaine, swiss chard, and bok choy; vegetables, including tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet corn, squash, and green, sweet, and hot peppers; and fruits, including melons, pumpkins, and apples. We sell our produce at a farm stand on the U of I Quad every Thursday from June until late October, but our main outlet is the dining service, which serves about 9,000 students a day beginning in late August. We can't supply the complete needs of the dormitory system, but students do get to taste the quality, freshness, and extra flavor that comes from locally grown food.
Our goals include increasing the amount of locally grown food con- sumed on campus; educating stu- dents about food systems; exposing students to the demands and hard labor involved in farming; and providing Extension-education opportunities to growers, Master Gardeners, and campus visitors. We employ two student interns each summer and rely on over 100 student volunteers who enjoy the op- portunity to work on the farm!
For more information on the farm, or to volunteer, please visit our website: thefarm.illinois.edu.