Sustainability and Stewardship
Right here, right now, we’re getting sustainability done at Guilford College. Our students, faculty and staff are making a real difference, with large and small sustainability projects that are showing concrete, measurable results.
We’re lowering our carbon footprint, saving money and creating lasting social change. Why? Because stewardship is part of who we are, and it has been since we opened in 1837. Our students are passionate about sustainability not because it’s the hot new trend, but because it’s been ingrained in our campus culture for 175 years. Guilford College has once again been named one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S.A. and Canada, according to The Princeton Review. The well-known education services company selected Guilford College for inclusion in the just-released third annual edition of its free downloadable book, “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2012 Edition.”
The Guilford College Farm is a perfect example of stewardship in practice. The farm gives our students more options for healthier food by providing fresh produce for Guilford Dining Services, sells extra produce to local restaurants like Elizabeth’s Pizza and Lucky 32, and donates extra food to non-profit organizations like Backpack Beginnings, which focuses on eliminating child hunger in our community.
The farm also participates in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, so members of the Guilford community can buy shares in the CSA and receive a box of vegetables every week throughout the farming season. The program was so popular this year that a waiting list had to be created! But don’t worry if you didn’t make it on to the waiting list; every week, we host the Guilford Farmers Market on campus, where the farm sells extra produce and local farmers are also invited to the market to sell their crops to the Guilford community. You can find out more information on their Facebook page and in a recent article in The Guilfordian.
We also have a Community Garden where people from all walks of life come together to get dirt under their nails, grow awesome food, and experience the one-of-a-kind thrill of nurturing seeds into harvests. Our Community Garden stimulates social interaction, teaches sustainable gardening (we also bring our First Year Experience classes here to see sustainable practices in action), creates healthy food, and improves life for people in the garden.
The farm is staffed by a professional farmer, Korey Erb, but also relies on volunteers, making it a great service learning opportunity. In the words of Pauravi Shippen-How ’11, a Guilford graduate who works on the farm, “Farming is not just putting plants in the ground. It’s chemistry, it’s organization, it’s bookkeeping, it’s meticulous data work, it’s all of this stuff that needs to happen at night and on the weekends and when the weather is bad. Those things are what set successful farmers and farms apart from unsuccessful ones. You have to know what you planted last year, where you planted it, how long it took to grow, what the weather was like, what was growing in the adjacent rows, etc. That’s the kind of data that you can use to make this growing year even more successful than the last.”
The farm is just one of the many ongoing sustainability initiatives at Guilford. Check us out on Facebook for more information about what we’re doing for our community and our planet.