The Evergreen State College, WA Organic Farm

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The Evergreen State College, WA, US

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Type: Program

Status: Established in 1971

Source File: http://www.evergreen.edu/cell/organicfarm.htm

Description:

The farms annual crop production area comprises 38,000 square feet, just 5,000 square feet shy of an acre. The perennial crop production area is in addition to this. The production from this area is sold to Aramark, from a farm-stand on red square every Tuesday and Thursday from 11am to 5pm during the growing season, and in CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). All of the excess is given to the Thurston County Food bank and local charities, or composted.

Proceeds from the sale of the crops are used to finance farm projects and purchase seeds and equipment. Two of the greenhouses, the cooler, compost shed, farm fencing and orchard are just a few projects made possible from farm sales. Another use for money generated on the farm is to fund student projects. Many of these projects are related to horticultural aspects of food crops.

The farm production area is divided into sections that are used to delineate cropping areas for specific types of crops. The farm practices a strict 5 year crop rotation. The rotating of crops creates plant diversity over time as opposed to plant diversity in space. The rotation has 4 general crop categories with each category occupying a given space for one growing season. The fifth season is a fallow where no crop is grown. During the fallow weed control, green manuring/cover cropping, we pull pastured poultry over our fallow fields to increase nitrogen to rebuild the soil after 4 years of continuous crop production.

Crop rotation is just one method the farm uses to maintain diversity in the field. Other methods employed are the use of undersown ground covers and inter-cropping different types of vegetable crops. Creating diversity in the field is one of the cornerstones of sustainable agriculture. Diversity provides non-toxic, sustainable crop protection against plant diseases and insect pests.

Use this link to read about the Vision of the Farm.

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