The National Center for Health Statistics reported this year that 39.6% of US adults are overweight. It is easy to understand why this statistic is so high in our society where we enjoy high fat, low vitamin meals daily. The Guilford College farm stand has set out to help solve this problem.
Tucked away on the corner of the campus, the Guilford College farm grows fresh crops year-round. The farm has three cultivated acres of farmland and a 5,000 square foot greenhouse. Every year, the farm grows upwards of 10,000 pounds of food. All crops are grown sustainably, are not treated with dangerous pesticides and are not genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Crops are cultivated every season. This requires students and staff to sow seeds, water, fertilize and monitor crops. The crops are harvested by hand and delivered to their respective destinations. This process is repeated every growing season to produce part of the prodigious amount of food needed to feed the campus.
After the crops are harvested, some are given to the college’s dining services to be served in the Founders Dining Hall. The extensive salad bar is partially supplied by the farm, and it gives the vegetables a fresh, crisp taste.
Guilford College farm stand is blanketed with crops such as okra, tomatoes, bok choy, kale, eggplant, arugula and salad mixes. This gives students a glimpse of the quality of food produced by the farm. Each of these crops is more accessible than fast food because it is sold right on campus.
Farm Stand Director Sophie Pesakoff believes the farm stand is beneficial to the Guilford community.
“The farm stand is a way for students, faculty and staff to buy fresh, healthy and affordable food,” Pesakoff said.
Students across Guilford College are eager to buy the fresh food that the farm stand supplies.
Sam Gilmore, a first-year, is interested in what the farm stand has to offer.
“I would buy from the farm stand. It is an easy way to buy fresh, local food without overspending,” Gilmore said.
Arul Sharma, a first-year, agreed with Gilmore.
“It is local and fresh, but also good for the environment. I like knowing that my food is locally sourced,” Sharma said.
As a Quaker school, Guilford has a unique set of values that the farm wholly encompasses. According to the Guilford College farm website, “Students who work on the farm learn stewardship and environmental responsibility.”
The farm stand connects the farm to the student body, which builds community.
“It’s a good place for people to build a sense of community,” Pesakoff said. “It’s a way for me to interact with people who I wouldn’t usually see.”
The farm stand sets up outside Founders Hall every Tuesday from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. The farm team just ended the summer growing season and will be debuting their fall vegetable lineup very soon. The prices are low, but the quality is high, so make sure to stop by next Tuesday.
Editor’s note: This story originally was published in Volume 106, Issue 2 of The Guilfordian on Oct. 11 2019.