UMD Promotes Sustainability and Eating Healthy
Tomatoes, cucumbers, and Peppers are only some of the produce that grows on the 30 acres of UMD’s Organic Farm.
Food grown at the farm is sold to the Dining services at the school, with the goal to help students eat healthy, and to raise awareness about sustainability.
“We’re both using it for the educational services, the technical services, and for the ecological services that it provides campus and community,” said Randel Hanson, the Director of the project.
Choosing to buy locally produced food is not only healthy for the local economy, but also for the environment
“You sometimes don’t realize that the food on your plate traveled hundreds maybe thousands of miles to reach you, and that is so much more energy intensive and resource intensive than locally produced foods,” explained Megan Forcia, a student farm worker.
Students work on the farm to learn how to grow fruits and vegetables in an environmentally friendly way
“I think people have lost the connection between themselves and what they’re eating, and I think farming sustainably has created a connection for me between me and the food that I’m eating everyday,” said Liz Bushaw, a student farm worker.
But sustainability isn’t just about food, and people involved with the farm believe teaching students and the community how to be kinder to the earth, is an important step in the right direction.
“We have sustainable energy production with the turbine, we have sustainable food systems, we work with water, we do biodiversity enhancement with native pollinators and birds and so forth,” said Hanson.