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  • Getting to Green

    An administrator pushes, on a shoestring budget, to move his university and the world toward a more sustainable equilibrium.

Farming and framing
August 2, 2011 - 9:00pm

If you haven't already, you should read Allie Grasgreen's article on student-worked (and sometimes student-run) campus farms in today's IHE. It's a good summary of the kinds of co-curricular agriculture and husbandry being practiced on a wide range of campuses, by a wide range of students.

Grasgreen calls out a number of the benefits created by campus farms, and accruing to campus farmers. But (because it's somewhat away from her topic), she misses what I consider to be the most significant benefit. By taking a hand (more often, two) in producing one of their own necessities of life, these student farmers are reframing responsibility in a way that creates a model for much of a sustainable lifestyle. Not only are they participating in the production of the things they need, they're gaining pleasure and wisdom from non-consumptive behavior. They're exhibiting active relationships not just with food, but with society, the economy, physical reality and life.

In a manner similar to what's being experienced in the transportation sphere at campuses which are making bicycles the preferred mode of transportation, these campus farms teach a slower, more productive, more effective lifestyle. They point the way to a world where students (like most folks) not only participate in providing their own food and transportation, but also their own shelter, their own education, their own health.

Who knows, on campuses where students both farm fresh food and ride bicycles, they may be well on the way to participating in that last one, already.

 

 

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