WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue University Student Farm will provide fresh locally grown vegetables to community members for a second year.
The Boilermaker Vegetable Season Pass will provide Purdue and West Lafayette subscribers with Purdue student-grown vegetables each week from July to November. The 22-week program will include whatever is freshly grown and picked that week.
The Purdue Student Farm started the Community Supported Agriculture program in 2020 to support the local community and in response to the closure of the student dining halls, its primary customers.
According to Steve Hallett, professor of horticulture and co-director of the student farm, the farm’s students have always wanted to learn about direct sales in local agriculture by selling to the local community.
The Boilermaker Vegetable Season Pass provides an educational experience for students and fresh vegetables to the community. The farm’s goal for the 2021 season is to enlist 50 subscribers for the 22-week program.
“The Boilermaker Vegetable Season Pass directly supports the student farm’s foundation: to teach students about small-scale agriculture, from growing it to selling it,” said Grace Moore, president of the Purdue Student Farm Club.
“Not only does this program sell fresh, local vegetables to the community, but it also expands the possibilities for students like myself in the Purdue Student Farm Organization to get hands-on experience with local food systems. The support we’ve seen from the community already is so encouraging to us, and we’re very excited to roll out this program.”
Petrus Langenhoven is a horticulture and hydroponics crop specialist in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and the farm’s co-director.
“Student education is the heartbeat of the farm, and the pandemic has brought a lot of things into perspective for all of us,” he said. “We realized once again how important it is to have locally grown fresh produce when supply chains are broken and that teaching the next generation of growers and horticulturalists is one vital aspect of sustainability. Students, staff and faculty are working hard to increase our community’s resilience. The Purdue Student Farm is grateful to be an integral part of this.”
Hallett said: “We hope to establish new relationships with our local community as a trusted supplier of healthy, safe and nutritious food. It’s exciting to be reconnecting after this last year; meeting people as they pick up their fresh food and knowing that our programs are reaching the local area. I am very proud of our students and their farm. It’s a very exciting time.”
Julie Huettman, Purdue Extension coordinator, was one of the first subscribers for the 2020 CSA program.
“The Boilermaker Vegetable Season Pass was a great experience,” she said. “Easy to order online, convenient pickup and produce already selected and put in a bag. The variety of produce helped motivate me to try out new recipes. I’m looking forward to subscribing again this year.”