at Matthaei Botanical Gardens
The Campus Farm at Matthaei Botanical Gardens is a student-driven multi-stakeholder living learning lab for sustainable food systems work built around principles of food grown by students for students, on-farm carbon-neutrality, diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, in a learning community that fosters student leadership development and high-impact teaching, research, and learning opportunities.
The Campus Farm utilizes passive solar hoop houses heated only by the sun to produce locally grown cold hardy crops like spinach and kale for MDining and Maize and Blue Cupboard all winter long.
The annual report for the Campus Farm is ready for viewing. The report includes key stats about the farm, a look at its diversity, equity, and inclusion mission, the farm’s community involvement activities, how the farm engages with students and the university, a round-up of farm staff, and more. Click here to read the report or click on the button below.
Along with its collaborative partners the University of Michigan Sustainable Food Program (UMSFP) and the Sustainable Food Systems Initiative, the farm is transforming U-M into a world-class place for twenty-first century scholarly research, teaching, and engagement in sustainable food systems. Scroll down for more photos of the farm.
The Campus Farm tangibly demonstrates Matthaei-Nichols and the U-M Sustainable Food Program’s core values and ties together education, community, and sustainable food in a way that hasn’t been done before at the U-M.
From the beginning the farm has had the University’s blessing. The U-M released the Campus Sustainability Integrated Assessment (CSIA). The Sustainability Executive Council chaired by President Mary Sue Coleman endorsed the study and recommended that the University create a campus farm. Students in the School of Natural Resources and Environment and UMSPF worked with Matthaei-Nichols staff and Director Bob Grese and U-M faculty members to make the farm a reality.
As much laboratory as classroom, the Campus Farm provides leadership development, education, and research opportunities in ways students might never have experienced before and contributes to authentic and impactful teaching and learning. Such hands-on experience provides invaluable lessons related to sustainable food production for students from a wide range of disciplines who—even if they don’t go on to be farmers—will play a role in food systems issues ranging from public health, the environment and our economies, in their future careers.
For more information about the Campus Farm, or for info on volunteering, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Campus Farm Intern Positions
Work with the Campus Farm student and staff managers to operate the U-M student-run Campus Farm at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Farm internships are part of the Nature Academy intern program at Matthaei-Nichols.
The farm’s produce goes to the University of Michigan Dining, completing the circle of food grown by students, for students, from our farm to our tables.
Campus Farm Fund
Help the University of Michigan Campus Farm at Matthaei support and provide students with tools, knowledge and hands-on experience in food production, allowing them to be at the center for activity, research, and innovation.
The straw-bale building is well placed on the University of Michigan Campus Farm. The building is nestled in a food forest, where a team of students previously planted hazelnuts, raspberries, serviceberries and blueberries. Its front porch opens south, facing the farm’s fields. West of the building are several passive solar hoop houses, which can now grow food year-round.
Check out this video on how the farm is partnering with U-M Dining Services to bring produce to Michigan students.