A big hit in its 2012 inaugural year, the University of Michigan Campus Farm at Matthaei Botanical Gardens continues to grow, with use of greenhouse space during the winter months. Student Allyson Green anticipates the farm’s produce being used in the U-M foodservice one day, and she says that the dining halls have expressed an interest in herbs grown in the garden. The farm plot will be greatly expanded for 2013 to over a quarter acre.

Students working on the seedlings for the Campus Farm in Greenhouse 5 at Matthaei. From left: Jerry Tyrrell, Emily Gleichert, Madeline Dunn, and Vineet Raichur.

For the winter 2013 semester, students from Professor Stan Jones’s landscape architecture design studio created plans for how the farm space could be developed. Additionally, the Campus Farm program has received two seed grants, one from the University’s Planet Blue Sustainability Initiative Fund and a “Quick Wins” grant from Transforming Learning for a Third Century (TLTC). Quick Wins grants are a part of the president and provost’s office Third Century Initiative to develop innovative approaches to teaching and scholarship at U-M Ann Arbor. The $25,000 grant makes possible summer farm interns, including a program coordinator and materials for the farm.

This spring, students are planning a “Spring Fest” for Friday, May 10 to celebrate the start of the Campus Farm’s second growing season. For details, visit the U-M Sustainable Food Program website.