Hi, My name is Julie Grimstad and this is another installment of writing for multimedia.
The sun shone down and warmed the earth on a beautiful spring day in Eugene Oregon and this group of 80 students is hard at work. They are learning how to live off the land at the University of Oregon’s Urban Farm.
The goal of the Urban Farm is to teach students how to learn about nature through working. Through hands on experience, students learn how to grow and prepare their own food.
Classes take place in the afternoon on tuesdays and thursdays, with a drop-in session open to the public from 10-12 each Saturday morning.
The class of 80 students is divided into groups, each with their own group leader who teaches them the ins and outs of gardening. Groups work on a specific plot of land, caring for their own plants and eating the fruits of their labor. Having groups like these allows students to work together and share the responsibility of planning and caring for their plants.
In the greenhouse, little seedlings peak through their allotted pocket of dirt. Students learn how to identify when the seedlings reach the appropriate size to be transplanted in their outdoor bed.
Not only do student learn about growing the produce, they learn about harvesting and preparing the food as well. Students regularly take their bounty home to eat though out the week. So what’s on the menu today? Stir-fry it seems, students chat about what they will pick and how they will prepare their home grown meal.
Composing is an essential part of a healthy garden and students are ready to get their hands dirty. Compost is mixed with straw and loaded into wheelbarrows where, then taken to a plot of land where the compost is mixed with the original dirt to fortify the soil and prepare it to grow hearty fruits and vegetables.
Watering the plants is an art, and farm director, Harper Keeler, will kindly remind you of this if you act otherwise. All watering is done with an attachement that sprays the water out evenly so it doesn’t disrupt the dirt. On a warm, sunny say like this one, watering the plants is especially important.
The Urban Farm is a place where any student who is up for a little work, can learn how to grow their own food and become more self sufficient.
If you’d like to learn more about the Urban Farm or are interested in dropping in on a Saturday session, visit the links below.
Thanks for listening, this is Julie Grimstad with Writing for Multimedia.
Nothing is put to waste at the Urban Farm, dead plants are composted to replenish the earth and even the rain water is captured and piped into its own rock bed.