Check out the sustainable, student-run campus farm!
STOGROW, the on-campus farm of approximately 1.5 acres, is an entirely student-run community initiative. Each winter, a number of students are hired to work on the farm during the following summer and throughout the growing season, in addition to taking a course in the spring centered around sustainable farming practices. Students are able to directly apply lessons about agriculture that they have learned during their course, while also making decisions about what works best for them as they progress. STOGROW provides a place for students to practice and troubleshoot farming, learn from mistakes, and focus on improvement without worrying too much about the bottom line.
All the produce, over 2 tons grown each season, is sold to Bon Appétit and incorporated into menu items at Stav Hall and the Cage. STOGROW provides vital experience in working with the land for students and feeds the St. Olaf community healthy and sustainable produce. At the beginning of the season, the farmers communicate with Bon Appétit to determine what sorts of produce should be grown, which is vital to determining the layout of the farm. Harvest is made up of produce crops selected by the farmers themselves along with any favorites from previous seasons requested by Bon Appétit.
Practice sustainable farming methods; provide fresh, local vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers to the St. Olaf community; foster agricultural awareness; and provide education about sustainable food productionSTOGROW Goals
While STOGROW is not a certified organic farm, a multitude of organic and sustainable practices are used to maintain the field and hoop-house where a variety of crops are grown. Tilling is limited to help promote soil health, drip irrigation is used to limit water runoff, and weeds are manually removed instead of using pesticides. In addition, there is an annual crop rotation to avoid depleting carbon and nutrient levels in the soil.