The office of sustainability drums up support for a new project to organize an organic farm on campus. Several members from the office of sustainability participated in “The Sustainable Food Systems Internship Program” over the summer, working with several local farms to examine their natural production techniques.
Zena farm was one of the first farms that interns visited, which is supported by Willamette University. Zena is completely student run and has already been integrated into Willamette’s food distribution system. Those at the office of sustainability hope to model a new organic farm for Linfield, modeled after Zena and Willamette.
Junior Sofia Webster helped organize the campus farmers market in an effort to raise awareness and support for a new organic garden on Sept. 3, and felt that Linfield might even “have a better chance [for an organic farm than Willamette] because we have a lot of space…and…such a small student body, so we can get word out really easily.”
The farmers market, which featured booths from the Linfield community garden as well as several other of the local organic farms that interns visited during the summer, including Gaining Ground Farm and River Ridge Farm, was a success in raising awareness for a new organic farm.
“There’s obviously a desire from the student body to have fresh local food,” Webster said.
An unofficial poll tallied on a blackboard at the event showed a total of 59 people in favor of an organic garden, with nobody openly opposed to the idea and only three people requested more information on the subject.
A second blackboard at the event encouraged student involvement by asking “What would a farm at Linfield mean to you?”
Some of the chalky, hand-scrawled answers helped reflect the overwhelmingly positive response to a campus farm: “I’d know what I’m eating;” “Healthy students;” “Fresh food for students;” “Fresh fruit for home cooking.”
“A farm could be a good way to show that [Linfield] is a part of this agricultural area that we kind of have been displaced from as an institution,” Webster said. “I don’t think [there is] much of a [connection] between the two, but there’s a huge…opportunity there for us to be part of it.”
The market may become a permanent fixture of campus life depending on the interest of the farms who were involved and student support.
“Whatever form of farm…on Linfield campus…[or] near Linfield campus there’s going to be students who benefit greatly. Administrators and staff, as well,” Webster said.
Ryan Morgan /Senior reporter
Students vote on whether the Linfield’s Farmers Market was a success. A majority of the number of tallies in favor of an organic farm on campus, showing student’s enthusiasm toward an organic Linfield. Students are welcome to try fresh vegtables from Linfield College’s organic garden, which is located on the side of Renshaw Hall.