Clemson University Student Farm

The Clemson University student farm was located in a valley right next to the college. It was great to see how another university that had a more developed farm worked.  They gave us a tour of the farm and talked about all the interesting things they were doing, like how they planted their crops at an angle to optimize runoff and sunlight capture and how they used ponds to catch water runoff from their barn roof, to reflect sunlight to their advantage, and to regulate the temperature in their hoop houses.

Listening to Prof. Zehnder and Shawn the farm manager about the slope of the beds for irrigation. Courtesy: Christina

The farm was very impressive in how they used intensive permaculture to make sure everything fit together in an integrated system so that everything was benefiting something else. Some of their upcoming projects are to use the farm as a teaching tool and the basis for an agriculture class. They are also working on a system that will compost all of the college’s food waste which they can turn into biofuel and animal feed. Their farm was a really inviting and nice place to be and it was a beautiful evening when we were there. This was a great place on the trip because we were able to see firsthand how people are changing our food system from big business agriculture back to a more sustainable, local, and healthy system.  We were also able to take things away from the visit that we can hopefully apply to our own growing student farm in Albion!

Inside the hoop house. Courtesy: Christina