The University Farm


School of Theology Prof. Andrew Thompson’s environmental ethics class, which I am auditing this spring, took a tour of the University Farm yesterday, hosted by farm manager Carolyn Hoagland. As she explained, the farm is a co-curricular resource for the University — there are class activities as well as opportunities for independent research. Four Vista volunteers are associated with the farm. Tasked with poverty reduction, their aim is to help local families reconnect to the land. Most of the food produced at the farm goes to supply Stirling’s Coffeehouse. The coffeehouse, in turn, provides coffee grounds and other organics that are used to enrich the farm’s soil. Other organics are composted, and there are plans for incorporating additional organics from the Equestrian Center. We class members even got to get our hands dirty, helping rid a couple of garden rows of Bermuda grass, dubbed by Carolyn, “the most pernicious weed I have ever met!” She might be interested to learn that Wikipedia offers another common name for it: “devil grass,” and after spending ten minutes digging at it, some of my classmates might concur!


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