Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Student Organic Farm opens for business, rain or shine

April 25, 2016
Media and information sophomore Jason Wu purchases vegetables on April 21, 2016 at the organic farm in front of MSU Auditorium.
Media and information sophomore Jason Wu purchases vegetables on April 21, 2016 at the organic farm in front of MSU Auditorium. —
Photo by Kelly vanFrankenhuyzen | and Kelly vanFrankenhuyzen The State News

Every Thursday during the months of April through October, the stand sets up shop on Farm Lane in front of the MSU Auditorium. The stand has been running since 2005 and is in business from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The stand offers a variety of fresh produce, such as vegetables like cabbage and kale, fresh fruit and herbs. All the food is grown on campus by the Student Organic Farm.

Stand manager Kelly Wilson said the customers are a mix of students, faculty members and people who are simply aware of the farm within the community.

“I really enjoy meeting people who come to the stand,” Wilson said. “Getting to know them and engaging and sharing the produce with people.”

Akello Karamoko, a member of the Organic Farmer Training Program, helps run the stand with Wilson. Though he recently joined the team, he said he enjoys working the stand.

“This is my second week at the farm stand, but I like it a lot,” Karamoko said.

Karamoko said he was recommended the program by another agricultural program he was a part of in Detroit. He said one of the best sellers so far has been the carrots.

Physics junior Christopher Jones was a first-time customer, but said he was pleased with his experience and purchase.

“The experience was super, super good,” Jones said. “The individuals running the stand were very, very helpful, super friendly and also really knowledgeable. They were also very helpful in describing various uses for the vegetables because I’m not exactly a culinary genius, so knowing what I can do with the produce was really helpful and nice as well.”

Jones said the produce at local grocery stores might not be the freshest, so coming across the Student Organic Farm’s produce was helpful and refreshing.

“The first thing that caught my eye was the garlic,” Jones said. “The visual appearance of the vegetables is very, very attractive in that there weren’t any obvious flaws and it didn’t look like it had been sitting there forever. They had a pleasant aroma, so it seemed like fresh and durable produce that I wanted to have for dinner.”

Wilson said the produce is grown year-round and stored in coolers to bring out during the spring when the farm’s fields are being planted and running the stand is worth the experience.

“It’s also really rewarding to grow all this food and spend all that time and energy growing and seeing all the people who are going to be eating it and whose body it’s going to be nourishing,” she said.

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