By Laurie Thorp
First I must say that I believe we are the only land grant university that boasts an organic zone on its campus. What this means is that the herbs and veggies we grow are certified organic under the National Organic Program (NOP) as regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Each year we are third-party certified for compliance to these regulations. And this means that our student farmers learn to keep detailed records of everything they use in growing our fabulous food. They must be able to show that our seed is certified organic, not genetically modified and that we do not use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. I might add that we don’t want to use these inputs in our farm system. We believe in ecological farming and that means we work with nature not against nature. Our method of farming is not extractive, rather we seek to restore the ecosystem while we are here. After all we are not alone. Look around and you will be amazed by all the critters who co-habit this planet with us.