Tuesday, September 23, 2014

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Student Garden Offers Students Field Experience
Beginning in 2007, a large area behind the on-campus greenhouses has been serving the Department of Sustainable Living as a field class for students whose focus is on sustainable agriculture and mini-farming (such as family farming). 

The project, called the “student garden,” is designed as a large circle composed of many growing beds (3’ by 12’ each) where students grow a diversity of organic vegetables, culinary herbs, soft fruits (berries), and flowers, as well as fiber crops, various medicinal plants, and more. 

“The emphasis of the student garden is food production, but together with an emphasis on sustainability,” says Sustainable Living faculty member Alex Kachan, who has initiated and is heading this project. This means, for example, that the garden produces all the biomass needed to generate its own compost, as well as saving seeds for following years, harvesting rain water, and more.” 

He said that students learn not just how to grow a tomato or a cucumber but rather how to grow soil and a complete diet. “In this way they can actually learn how to create abundance, feed themselves, and provide great diversity of very high quality food crops to local customers.” 

Permaculture and the GROW BIOINTENSIVE method are the main guiding principles for constructing the student garden — in nutrient density and in life energy.

The two greenhouses on campus are also being used by students, with a focus on the the GROW BIOINTENSIVE method.

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