The Loyola Student Farm is a multifaceted business with several main goals. First and foremost the business seeks to discover and promote sustainable agriculture practices. Through educational opportunities we aim to explore and incorporate practices related to sustainable agriculture in our production models. We are committed to ensuring that our food production methods not only maximize the biological production of our land in a sustainable manner with limited external inputs but also to insure that these same practices, along with our distribution methods and market identification, continuously promote ecological health.
In addition to providing the service of healthy food products, we also seek to share what we learn about sustainable living with the community at large through educational workshops, tours, and other opportunities. In the past year, we have given tours and workshops to more than 40 student and local groups, clubs, and organizations.
Finally, we wish to promote sustainability within the Loyola community by directly promoting a model of community supported agriculture to Loyola faculty, staff, and student. Additionally, we ensure that a portion of the food produced our land never leaves the land from which it came by continuously supplying the Retreat & Ecology Campus with fresh produce to serve in its dining hall.
Community Supported Agriculture
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) seeks to repair human relationships not only with food and land, but also with the people whom work the land on their behalf. Through our CSA, we empower individuals to be involved in and informed about the production of their food through direct interactions with the students growing their food. These relationships are mutually beneficial from both an economic and social standpoint.
Members purchase a share at the start of the season, thereby providing necessary start-up capital and in exchange receive a share of the seasons harvest over the next subsequent 20 weeks. Implicit in this agreement is that there is a finite amount of food produced upon the land and each member, along with the student farmers, agree upon a mutual risk sharing. In years of bounty every shares in the bounty, in years that are not so favorable to agricultural production the members are aware that their share will be reflective of production quantities.
The Loyola Student Farm has chosen to participate in the Loyola Farmers Market located on Sheridan Road, just north of Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus. Markets take place every Monday from 3 to 7 p.m., from June 11 through October 15. You can find us in the first row of vendors, the one with the red tent. Seasonal produce will be available at each market as well as five different types of freshly baked artisan bread. Stop by and say hi, we'd love to talk with you (and provide an investment in your health)!
In Fall 2012, the Loyola Student Farm will be erecting a new greenhouse with a farmstand attached to it. In Spring 2013, our farmstand will be open for folks to stop by and purchase our fruits, veggies, flower pots, transplants, and more!
Environmental and Social Focus
The Loyola Student Farm is committed to addressing a range of environmental and social factors through a variety of different ways ranging from education and activism to research and innovation. By providing a variety of different methods and opportunities to address these issues it is our hope that we will provide the spark that will ignite the flame for change within students. Students have the opportunity to address concerns about sustainability, agriculture, environmental justice, ecological health, biodiversity, soil and water conservation, energy production, and restoration.