From the Farm to UMD's Dining Hall

Posted at: 08/07/2013 5:26 PM
Updated at: 08/07/2013 6:21 PM
By: Maarja Anderson

Students returning to UMD this fall will be able to enjoy some fresh produce grown by their peers at the Sustainable Agriculture Project Farm.

It's been a long winter, cold spring, and cooler winter, but that hasn't stopped a dozen students from getting their hands dirty on the SAP Farm.

Months ago they were all seedlings in the UMD greenhouse, now the onions, corn, cabbages, and other vegetable varieties are ready for harvest.

Behind the the experimental field site and action research project is professor Randel Hanson.

"It's great for them to actually work on a farm and understand how food is produced, and how agriculture works and how you work in sustainable practices over long periods of time," said Hanson.

They're partnered with UMD Dining Services and deliver three loads of fresh produce a week.

"In just a little over a week, we've delivered about 120 pounds of peas," said student farm manager Kevin Moris.

After the students pull the vegetables out, they chill them, clip them, and then wash them.

"We will do an overall scrub to get majority of the first off and then we'll pack them up, throw them in my truck and bring them up to campus," said Moris.

Straight from the farm to the salad bar. Executive chef at UMD, Tom Linderholm, said it's tough to keep up with the demand.

"We're bringing in a lot of cabbage, beets, and zucchini. We got our first batch of broccoli, probably 120 pounds, yesterday and that's already gone," said Linderholm.

The SAP Farm is open to the public this weekend. It is part of the Urban Farm Tour on Saturday and is open to the public from 1-5 p.m. For more information go to their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/UMD-Sustainable-Agriculture-Project/155406517855625.