Vegetables available from the Student Organic Farm include:
If a bounty of organic vegetables on your summer table sounds delicious, consider purchasing shares in the Student Organic Farm (SOF), an ISU club made up of shareholders that include undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and community members.
Here's how it works. Anyone can purchase one of three share levels in the 2-acre farm, located at the ISU Horticultural Research Station north of Ames. In return, the members help work the farm and harvest the crops. This is called community supported agriculture, or CSA.
"The CSA format offers the opportunity for students to gain both growing experience and a simulated business experience," said Michelle Aderhold, SOF president. "It also allows us to form a strong sense of community building, in that all members work toward a common goal and share in the fruits of their efforts."
Shareholders cover the costs of seeds, tools, share boxes (for providing produce each week), maintenance of the farm and other expenses.
Share levels are:
- General member: Not required to pay a membership fee or work on the farm each week, but members are welcome to participate in designated workdays, workshops or other events. In return for their labor, general members may receive surplus harvest, if available.
- Working share: Required to pay a $50 membership fee and work on the farm a certain number of hours each week, from the end of May through October. In return for their labor, members receive a bag of produce each week during the harvest season, generally from May through September (this membership level is full for 2017).
- Paid share: Required to pay a $350 membership fee to receive a bag of produce each week during the harvest season, generally from May through September; no labor required (shares are still available).
Applications and additional information about the shareholder levels are available online. Shareholders must reapply each year.