Student Farm

Students sitting at a table selling donuts.
Students standing behind a table with produce on it.
A person hoeing in a greenhouse.
The outside of a greenhouse.
A student working in the garden.
A photograph of hands holding cherry tomatoes.
Students walking in a greenhouse.

The mission of the Albion College Student Farm is to cultivate a student-organized, all-natural, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing produce garden for the benefit of students, faculty, and members of the Albion Community of all ages.

Using a combination of fields and a hoop house, the student farm has grown a wide variety of peppers, tomatoes, green beens, onions, squash, corn, beets, and herbs at its location in the Whitehouse Nature Center.

The goals of the student farm include:

  • Experiment with organic gardening practices such as composting and planting heirloom seeds
  • Raise awareness about the role of a local diet in reducing carbon footprint by offering our produce to Dining Services, student apartments, and annexes
  • Help ensure equal access to nutritious food in the Albion community by donating produce to local charities
  • Encourage Albion residents, especially youth, to learn about and appreciate organic gardening, become more connected with their local food system, and grow a deeper sense of community.
  • Promote gardening as an uplifting, healthful, environmentally-friendly activity.

A group of five students started the farm during Albion’s Year of Sustainability in 2010.

Student Workers

The farm is a three way collaboration among Albion College’s Center for Sustainability and the Environment, the Whitehouse Nature Center, and an independent student organization.

During the school year, work on the student farm is all volunteer-based. In the summer, the Center for Sustainability employs two interns to work half time at the farm, with the Nature Center employing them the other half of their time.

Gardens and Hoop House

The 1,440-square-foot growhouse is a “greenhouse on wheels.” The hoop house was made possible by a generous gift from the Baird family in honor of Jessica Baird’s, ’11, graduation. Jessie was one of the founding members of the student organization. The Student Senate has also supported the student organization generously over the years.

In the past, the student farm has grown a variety of different herbs and produce, including:

  • Winter squash
  • Watermelons
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Various herbs, including basil, parsley, oregano, mints
  • Onions
  • Summer squash
  • Green beans

Summer 2020 Plots

This summer, the Albion College Student Farm will be offering 100 ft2 plots of land, all of which will be watered by student workers, for the May-September season. The following plot options will be available:

  • Basic Plot – $9/month or $35/season
  • Raised Bed Plot – $15/month or $60/season
  • Tended Raised Bed – $30/month or $145/season (limit of 8 available)

The Basic Plot and Raised Bed Plots will be self-serving, while the Tended Raised Bed will be cared for by student workers.

Natural, non-chemical pesticides and fertilizers are encouraged, but the use of any additives will be at the discretion of the Whitehouse Nature Center Director.

How To Help

You can get involved with Albion’s student farm by volunteering during the school year, or applying to work at the student farm during the summer. Contact Jason Raddatz, director of the Whitehouse Nature Center for details.

Typical volunteering activities at the student farm include weeding, composting, and planting and cultivating crops.

Handshake will be updated with specific volunteer opportunities.