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Cornercopia Student Organic Farm University of Minnesota

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Title: Cornercopia Student Organic Farm University of Minnesota


1
Cornercopia Student Organic Farm University of
Minnesota
  • November 8th 2006
  • Whats Up in Sustainable Agriculture?

2
Today
  • Background info
  • 2006 Year in review
  • Challenges in 2006
  • Opportunities to get involved

3
Timeline 2004
  • Mini-plot trial
  • Bi-weekly meetings in the garden through the
    summer
  • Requested larger site in Fall 2004, received plot
    ( on the corner of Cleveland Larpenteur
    Avenues) planted in winter rye cover crop.

4
Timeline Spring Semester 2005
  • Student Organic Farm Planning Class Activities
  • Community Building
  • Decision making with
  • consensus
  • Creating a Master Plan
  • Assessing Resources
  • Strategic Planning (Vision, Mission, Guiding
    Principles)
  • Exploring Partnerships, Markets, Crops, Cropping
    systems, Farm Layout

5
Mission Statement
  • To steward a student managed, organic,
    sustainable farm that provides food, a place for
    community building, multidisciplinary
  • education, research
  • and outreach.

6
Organizational Structure
Farm Manager
Faculty Advisors
Student Program Coordinator
Interns Volunteers
  • Guiding Principle The student farm will be
    cooperatively planned and managed by a core group
    of students in collaboration with MISA,
    University faculty and other organizations.

7
Crops Farm Management
  • Continuous Cover System /
  • Green Lands, Blue Waters ethic
  • Cover crops
  • Companion Plantings
  • Perennial Guilds
  • No Spraying
  • Guiding Principle The student farm through its
    operation will grow, harvest and market a
    diversity of crops using sustainable organic
    practices that utilize local resources, reflect
    natural ecosystems and improve the quality of the
    farmland.

8
Research
  • 13 Student interns (9 undergraduate, 4
    graduate students) hired, each with an individual
    research projects
  • Guiding Principles The student farm will
    encourage students to implement, monitor, and
    evaluate innovative and sustainable organic
    farming practices.

9
Outreach Education
  • Field Days
  • U Day Camp Program
  • STARS Program
  • Agriculture and Food Sciences Academy
  • Guiding Principle The student farm utilizes and
    teaches sustainable organic farming practices to
    students, faculty and community members. It will
    serve as a gathering place for interdisciplinary
    learning communities and a resource for extension
    in sustainable organic agriculture."

10
Timeline Summer 2005
  • 13 Interns each with a research project
  • 6 Blocks of Intensive Production
  • Met Expectations of the Guiding Principles set
    forth in class
  • Tested Various Markets, with success
  • Developed Partnerships

11
Timeline Fall 2005
  • HECUA Intern plants fall cover crops
  • Humphrey Institute students complete end of the
    season market analysis project
  • Applied for 2006 Beautiful U Day Grant

November 2005
December 2005
12
January 2006 New Student Organic Farm Planning,
Growing Marketing Class
13
Strategic Planning
Year 1
Year 2
14
Spring 2006
  • Focused on Growing!
  • Minimal work on Strategic Planning Master Plan
  • Beautiful U day Grant for planting the Perennial
    Guild Area

15
Focus on Challenge Areas from 2005
  • Record Keeping for Organic Certification
  • Organizational Structure
  • Farm Layout- balancing efficiency biodiversity
  • Marketing
  • Transitions Between Semesters

16
Record Keeping Organic Certification
  • 2005 Dual Internship for Student with Certifying
    Agency Cornercopia
  • 2006 2nd Year in Transition, application
    submitted, certification in process

17
Results of Organic Inspection
  • Good Records for Seeds, planting, transplanting,
    layout, pest disease control, harvest, and
    sales
  • Need records for equipment clean-up
  • Buffer not big enough on East side (needs to be
    25 feet)
  • Compost vs. Plant residue vs. Manure

18
2006 Management Structure
Faculty Advisors
Student Program Coordinator
Volunteer Coordinator
Sales Marketing Manager
Co-Farm Managers
Interns Volunteers
19
2005 Student Farm Layout
Monoculture Block
Keyhole Block
Experiment Plot
Perennial Guilds
Monoculture Block
Companion Block
Cover Crop
Monoculture Block
Temporal Polyculture
Straw Mulch Source
Intern Project
Production Area
Block Size 62 h x 42 w Block Space 14,880 7
beds (4 bed2 path) /block
North South Bed Orientation
N
20
Learning What Works
2005 Companion Block
2005 Monoculture Block Rotation
21
Challenges Benefits of 2005 layout
  • Tomatoes, Broccoli, Squash, Beans, Corn, Carrots,
    Lettuce, etc. in 6 places
  • Companion Block Jungle
  • Beneficial Inter-plantings of Herbs and Flowers
    in Companion Block Work (for the whole farm!)

22
2006 Family Block Design
23
2006 Family Block June
24
Family Block September
25
2006 Farm Layout
Key hole
B
Cu
T
Family Blocks w/ flower herb strips
E
Mono culture block
S
Cover Crop
P
Perennial Guilds
Co
Cover Crop
Strawberry Block
North Plot
N
Mid-Late Summer Salad Mix Spinach Production
Grape Project
STARS Plot
South Plot
26
2006 Projects
  • Experiment Block
  • Fruit Production (Strawberries, Black Raspberries
    Red Raspberries)
  • Garlic
  • Marketing

27
2006 Farm Layout
Key hole
B
T
Family Blocks w/ flower herb strips
E
Mono culture block
S
Cover Crop
P
Perennial Guilds
Co
Cover Crop
Strawberry Block
North Plot
N
Mid-Late Summer Salad Mix Spinach Production
Grape Project
STARS Plot
South Plot
28
Perennial Guild
29
Perennial Guilds
30
2005 Markets
  • MPLS Campus Farmers Market Average Sales
    600 /week
  • St. Paul Market Stand Sales 30-100 /week
  • St. Paul Campus Office Deliveries Sales
    50-200 /week
  • Restaurants, Co-ops, School Districts, and other
    events

31
2005 Fruits of our Labor
  • Season Total 8,658

32
2006 Markets
  • MPLS Campus Farmers Market
  • St. Paul Campus Deliveries
  • Season Total 7,500

33
Office Delivery Email
  • Here's what we have available for you this week -
    and let me stress that everything is on a FIRST
    come, FIRST served basis
  • 1/2 pint mixed heirloom tomatoes (may incl.
    lemon drops, bloody butchers, sungolds, roman
    candle, green zebra, yellow pears, etc.) 2.50
  • 1 pint mixed heirlooms - same as above - 4.50
  • Summer squash - 1/ea Pumpkin - 2/ea
  • Swiss/Rainbow Chard - 10oz - 2/ea
  • Large green onions - bunch of 3 - 1.50
  • 1/2 pint ground cherries - 3
  • Yellow Wax Beans - 12 oz -3
  • Turnips - .50 each
  • Carrots - 1.50 /bunch
  • Edamame - 8 oz - 2.50
  • Herbs - 1/ea bunch oregano basil globe basil
    mint chives lemon balm sage parsley
    cilantro catmint thyme Thanks and see you
    tomorrow!

34
Response Email
  • I'd like
  • two large summer squash
  • one spaghetti squash
  • two pints of heirloom tomatoes
  • three bunches of basil
  • two bunches of oregano
  • one cabbage
  • THANK YOU!
  • Mr. Smith
  • 300 Coffey Hall

35
October 2006 Permaculture Design Course in
Stelle, IL
36
Considerations for 2007
  • Intercropping within the Perennial guilds
  • Interplant w/ cover crops (squash / pumpkin red
    clover)
  • Nature inspired shapes efficient layout?
  • Tractor-less / No Till Bed prep?
  • Include Cover crops for straw mulch source

37
How to get involved?
  • Take the Student Organic Farm Growing, Planning
    Marketing Class Spring 2007
  • 3 credit class
  • Focused on Growing Design
  • Saturday Retreat January 20th 2007
  • Internships for 2007
  • UROP Research Projects

38
Questions?
39
Contact Info
  • Courtney Tchida
  • Student Program Coordinator
  • Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture,
    University of Minnesota
  • 612-625-2738
  • tchi0003_at_umn.edu
  • http//sof.cfans.umn.edu/
  • umsof_at_umn.edu
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