Guilford farm CSA: sharing the bounty

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Rebecca King

Guilford has no shortage of options for hungry students, such as the eclectic cafeteria and the variety of local restaurants. One thing that may not cross many minds, however, is the rich amount of produce available from the on-campus farm. Hopefully, that is about to change thanks to the new Community Supported Agriculture program available to select students.

This new program works in a similar fashion to a weekly magazine subscription. For a rate of $60 per month, students will have access to the freshest items from the farm. The program operates in a four-week cycle, making each pick of vegetables cost $15. According to CSA founder Korey Erb, this acts as a sort of risk management in case a crop does not come along as expected. That way, it is easier to put the program on hiatus in order to get the crops set right again.

And Erb is one to know about setting things right. The core idea behind the CSA is giving back to Guilford, with over 50 percent of the veggies and fruits grown on the farm coming back onto campus. This idea came to him over a year ago after he helped expand the farm’s outreach by sharing produce with local dining staples such as Elizabeth’s Pizza and Lucky 32. He realized that if students were helping with the farm, they should be able to enjoy its bounty as well.

By giving back to the college through the CSA as well as supplying food to the cafeteria and running a farmer’s market, Erb has proven that by putting enough time and effort into maintaining a sense of community, even something like food can bring us all together.

According to Executive Chef Eric Pearce, being able to use the gardens for cafeteria meals is “incredible — the best experience I’ve ever had as a chef. We use (produce from the Guilford Farm) religiously.”

However, this sense of community is not limited to the student body and local restaurants. Erb invites children and teens to work at the farm, showing them the ropes on raising produce.

CSA subscriptions are currently limited to the theme houses, but early success is boding well for the future of this program, and there are plans to expand the possible customer base over the next few years.

“I believe (supporting the CSA) would be an amazing way to appreciate the land we live on and the work we put into it,” said first-year Adele Price.

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