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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

DePauw campus farm a growing enterprise

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

DePauw students are seeing the fruits (vegetables?) of their labors with the harvest of onions, corn, green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and other crops at the DePauw campus farm. Besides providing fresh produce to the university dining hall, 10-15 percent of the organic produce is going to the Putnam County Emergency Food Pantry.
(Courtesy of DePauw University)
The rich and long agricultural history of Putnam County has a new chapter with the opening of DePauw University's new, one-acre organic campus farm.

Located on West County Road 225 South on the way to DePauw's Prindle Institute for Ethics, the farm is tended by DePauw students, employees and members of the local community.

Crops currently growing include onions, corn, green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and much more.

"We want students to be connected to the land, and we're thankful to so many in the local community who have advised the start of this project" said Carol Steele, director for sustainability at DePauw.

The farm-fresh offerings are being served in the dining hall at DePauw, with 10-15 percent of the produce being donated to the Putnam County Emergency Food Pantry.

DePauw is following the trend in Greencastle of growing local food to help those in need, including Greencastle Christian Church's new garden and the Putnamville Correctional Facility farm.

"We know that even in Greencastle food scarcity can be a problem, and we want to do our part to help," Steele said.

While the DePauw Campus Farm currently occupies one acre, there is room for expansion of up to seven acres in the future. At the moment, though, DePauw is focused on getting faculty, staff, students, and members of the community involved.

"This is a living laboratory. We want everyone out here, from elementary class field trips to sorority pumpkin carving events," campus farm manager Jackie Baratta said.

The public is invited to volunteer at the farm from 9 a.m.-1.p.m. Monday through Friday with additional hours of 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Visitors are encouraged to ride a shiny yellow Community Bike out to the farm. The loaners are available for free, 48-hour access to anyone in the community, and can be picked up at the Inn at DePauw.

More information on the DePauw Campus Farm and Community Bikes program can be found at www.depauw.edu/offices/sustainability.

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