MSU Student Organic Farm stand provides fresh food for MSU population
When you drive down Farm Lane at MSU, the white tents are easy to spot. Students who are curious and want to try some fruit, vegetables and herbs could be interested in MSU Student Organic Farm stand, which sets up shop every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The new location is south of the Red Cedar River next to North Shaw Lane, just across from Erickson Hall.
“We are having our first fall Farm Stand in this new location, we have a lot of grand cherries, but not too many tomatoes because of the late blight. We sold out all grapes and apples today,” said Russell Honderd, the manager of the MSU Farm Stand.
Lettuce, carrots, raspberries, rainbow chard, cauliflower, squash, onions, corn, pears, pepper or even sunflowers are all available in the Farm Stand. They offer different kinds of product depending on the season.
“Most people who come by the Organic Farm Stand are MSU students, employees and faculty. We had about 300 people come by today,” said Casey VanNest, a student in the farm’s training program who is learning to sell at the Farm Stand.
Honderd said all of the fresh fruits and vegetables sold at the stand are USDA certified organic products and grown by MSU Student Organic Farmers. He said they are selling 15 percent of the products from the organic farm to the MSU dining halls and the Organic Farm Stand, about 75 percent goes to Community Supported Agriculture and the rest is going to local grocery stores such as Better Health Store and the East Lansing Food Cooperative.
Another student in the program to learn farm growing, marketing and selling is Wendy Pangle, a MSU alumna who graduated about 40 years ago. After she retired, she decided to become a farmer, so she joined the nine-month organic training program for her future farm in Kalamazoo.
She said this program is very helpful, because it lets her learn how to interact with customers, how to grow vegetables and fruit and how to practice farm business.
“It’s my second time to do the Farm Stand. The Farm Stand is just a small piece of the training program,” Pangle said.
The MSU Organic Farm Stand will be running until the end of the October. Students and community members are not only welcome to purchase, but to ask about about cooking and storage as well.