The beautiful stone foundation barn along the road looks like any other picturesque barn in Pennsylvania. But as you walk up the lane toward the greenhouses, off to the left, you see canvas covered yurts, chickens free ranging, and a row of shiny solar panels. New shine meets old wisdom in harmony, straddling old and new farming practices at Dickinson College farms, near Boiling Springs, PA.
It is a lab and health service. The farm, which provides fresh, local, organically grown produce to college food services, along with offering work study and internships in forward thinking agriculture, was part of the reason the Dickinson College was one of fifteen institutions to be awarded the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence announced Tuesday.
Specifically, the farm’s composting of 700 lbs daily of food waste was mentioned in the Governor’s award. The farm has generated enough compost from this practice to feed all the plants on their farm for 2009. This compost not only benefits the farm by providing nutrients to grow more food for the college, but it saves the college money by reducing the number of dumpsters needed to haul waste to the landfill. Of course, we all benefit from the reuse of the material.
The farm is a lab, as well, because they involve many departments of the college to maximize the beneficial use of resources from heating the greenhouses efficiently with solar energy and using pond water for irrigation to reusing grey water.
There’s much more to be said about the farm and the cool folks who run it. But for now, heartfelt Congratulations. For more info: http://tinyurl.com/d2p5pf