Student Sustainable Farm

Southern Illinois University

CONTACT

SIU.EDU

Vegetables

Student Sustainable Farm

The Student Sustainable Farm is located two miles southwest of the main campus, at the Vermicomposting Center at 3373 Pleasant Hill Rd. The student farm is presently six acres with 2.5 acres in vegetable production. The farm offers students the opportunity to run a small farm to develop the planning, production, food handling and marketing skills needed to find employment in the exploding sustainable/organic food industry.

Supported by the SIU Carbondale Green Fund and by University Housing through their dining hall program, the SIU Student Sustainable Farm started out small in 2010 and has slowly expanded to now include six acres of field and two polytunnels. With 2.5 acres in vegetables, we are looking to expand into small grains, dried beans and cover crops.

Organic methods are primarily employed to grow a variety of vegetables and supply them to the Dining Halls at SIU. The farm grows and supplies potatoes, onions, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, peppers, melons, cucumbers, Asian greens and salad mix in the fall semester. In spring, a polytunnel is used to grow cold season vegetables such as lettuce, salad mix spinach and Asian greens. Produce is sold to the public at farm stands on campus and at community farmers markets though out the year. We also offer a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) from June – Oct. Please contact Meredith Stamberger for more information (siussf@siu.edu).

The farm provides many exciting research and work-study opportunities. Past projects have included the use of vermicompost in vegetable production, the difference of nitrogen isotopes in organic vs. conventional greenhouse tomato production, consumer acceptance of and nutritional differences between Asian greens cultivars, the use of beneficial rhizobacteria in organic strawberry production and the benefits of fall planted cover crops.