Produce from GVSU educational farm will be donated throughout growing season
Produce from Grand Valley State University's Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP) will be donated to the needy in an effort to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
SAP, the university’s educational farm, is located just south of the Allendale Campus.
Youssef Darwich, farm manager and educator, said plans on where to donate the crops are still being finalized. Darwich has been maintaining the farm alone, without student help, in order to practice social distancing.
"The garden has to keep going. The food system is a really important asset and we want to get it to the people who need it," he said. "We want to do whatever we can to give back."
Darwich said, in about a month, radishes, beets, carrots, lettuce and green onions will be harvested.
The typical harvest season is May-October. Darwich said moving forward, he will shift to planting more hearty foods, like peppers, cucumbers, turnips, squash, tomatoes and melons.
He said farm shares may be available later in the season; share members of the garden are mostly faculty and staff members.
"Now, more than ever, we are reminded of the importance of being healthy and the foundation of health is good food," said Darwich. "It's an age-old saying — 'let food be thy medicine.' I really encourage everyone to focus on eating healthy to make you as strong as possible."
Sustainable Agriculture Project background
What started as a community garden in 2008 has grown to a learning-living laboratory where students learn academic content and develop practical skills. It includes two hoop houses, a greenhouse and four acres of land, and offers community-shared agriculture and community garden programs.