This week's Farmer is UMass's very own Amanda Brown. Amanda helps UMass students make their passion for growing food for their peers a reality through the UMass Student Farming Enterprise.
The Student Farm is a unique year-long course that provides students with hands-on experience running an organic farm. The course started in 2007 when two students began growing kale and broccoli for UMass's student-run Earthfoods Cafe. From there, Amanda has continually developed the program, which is now in its eighth season, with 12 students growing 36 different vegetable varieties.
The student farmers sell their produce to the Dining Commons and the local Big Y supermarket as well as UMass student businesses (including Greeno Sub Shop, Earthfoods, Peoples Market and more). They've also created their own fall CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share catered to students and faculty. Each year, the CSA sells around 50 shares to the campus community, making it a unique UMass network of farmers and consumers.
The Student Farm continues to gain support both on campus and in the local area while maintaining the close-knit community that makes the program such a success. “As UMass student farmers, we commit to providing our campus community nutritious, organically grown, local produce. We cultivate student empowerment through hands-on agricultural production and by educating our peers about the importance of creating a healthier food system”.
Combining science and hands-on learning, the Student Farming Enterprise provides students with the tools to build a career that they are proud of in the agriculture sector, a crucial step in creating regenerative food systems. Thanks for all your hard work, Amanda Brown!
Entries are submitted by project staff and UMass students.