Great Outdoors: UMD Land Farm

The farm typically produces 20 to 30 thousand pounds of food during an average year.

DULUTH, Minn. – From the classroom to the farm UMD’s land lab is wrapping up its season.

The project originally started in 2009, and although this year has been different for faculty and students it provided them with some unique opportunities for growth.

Just off of Jean Duluth Road you’ll find UMD’s lab farm.

It’s an outdoor classroom providing students with a hands on experience.

“So that opens students up to a broad range. We have a student who started her own small farm. So you could become a farmer. But you could also work in sustainable food systems,” UMD Land Lab Director of Outreach and Education, Dr. Teresa Bertossi says.

This year, these students also felt the impacts of the pandemic and have taken away different experiences.

“Just being creative and flexible. Just trying to do more with less people. With less help and stuff,” UMD Grad Student, Cole Grotting says.

Students have been able to work through a number of challenges.

“Because of Covid some communities were facing food shortages. So that puts an added need to come through and produce food for people,” Dr. Bertossi says.

That hasn’t stopped students and staff from providing food to UMD dining Services, and to local food deserts.

“We delivered produce to Morgan Park which is a food desert. We distributed produce with a small grant for free,” Dr. Bertossi says.

As the season wraps up, the staff will get together and develop future plans already looking forward to next year.

“We will try to double our community supported agriculture food boxes. We’ll be meeting with community action Duluth to talk about a mobile food truck,” Dr. Bertossi says.

The farm typically produces 20 to 30 thousand pounds of food during an average year.

The farm also held a scarecrow competition in place of its annual farm festival.

The winner of that received a $300 cash prize.

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