Berea College Gardens & Greenhouse
USDA Certified Organic
This grower has a photo album.
The gardens and greenhouse cultivates 12 acres of horticultural food crops, generating a vast assortment of produce. At the peak of the season, harvest yields include tomatoes, eggplant, beans, peppers, squash, cucumbers, berries, wheat, corn (for grinding), garlic, and potatoes. Two cycles per year of cool season crops provide beets, carrots, broccoli, snap peas, and greens. Culinary herbs, grown in small quantities, complement our produce at the farmers market.
Berea College salad greens are a community staple, purchased again and again by customers at the farmers market, as well as by local businesses, and even used to stock the salad bar at the College Food Service. In the spring and fall, the gardens weave a tapestry of greens with the succulent leaves of romaine, kale, spinach, mustard, and mixed loose-leaf lettuces. Because the growing-power comes from compost, these greens are the edible link in a chain that converts everyday waste to a valuable product.
The “Who’s Who” of Berea College Farm’s Horticulture Enterprise
Berea College Farm offers its student workers management experience through membership in a core team. This “upper echelon” generally includes upperclassmen, many of whom have more than a year or two of BC Farm experience under their belts, but also may include students who want to gain more detailed knowledge in a specific area of agriculture. Core team members actively participate in decision-making and work on special projects to constantly improve their enterprise.
As its most recent endeavor, the horticulture team is compiling a comprehensive catalogue of their products, including both edible crops and ornamental plants. The goal is to provide customers with the most up-to-date, accurate information at seasonal BC Horticulture Plant Sales and at the farmers market.
Horticulture Core Team 2010
Jenny Boyle is a third year student working toward a double major in sustainable agriculture and writing. She is from southeastern New Jersey, where she held her first job at Anything Grows Flower Farm, a local garden center and greenhouse operation. During the journey from sales clerk to Assistant Grower, Jenny practiced commercial production of ornamentals, including chrysanthemums, poinsettias, perennial flowers and grasses, and a wide variety of annuals. During her freshman year at Berea College Farm, she experienced true agriculture for the first time—with food crops taking the place of flowers, and animals playing a role as significant as plants. Although Jenny hated to leave the livestock behind, she shifted her focus to the Gardens and Greenhouse in order to participate more fully in horticultural management. The college farm newsletter allows Jenny to unite her love of agriculture with her passion for writing, while updating and educating the public on farm happenings. Her ideal future job would enable her to harmonize agriculture and writing in one profession.
Favorite horticultural crop: ‘Speckled Roman’ tomatoes
Favorite plants: Poinsettia, Foxglove, Diffenbachia—anything poisonous!
Iris Bahr-Winslow will graduate this May with an independent major in Outdoor Recreation, and a second major in Agriculture and Natural Resources in Sustainable Systems. She is originally from Newport, Tennessee, where she helped maintain organic gardens and began an edible garden. Iris says she chose her job at the Gardens and Greenhouse because it is peaceful work that allows her to do relaxing tasks despite hectic school life. Plus, she just loves being outside! After graduation, she plans to work on the Pigeon River as a raft guide and help with the local farmers market, while beginning to work on her personal garden, as well as maintenance of local gardens.
Favorite horticultural crop: Strawberries
Favorite plants: Iris (of course!), and trees
Hannah Clifton will graduate in May 2010 with a degree in Agriculture and Natural Resources. She is from Elmhurst, IL, near Chicago. Her earliest experience with horticulture was picking tomatoes from her backyard in the suburbs as a kid. More recently, Hannah worked at the college farm for the last three years and came to the Gardens and Greenhouse to diversify her experience in the Agriculture and Natural Resources department. Hannah says she’s open-minded about her options after graduation. She would like to pursue her interests in agricultural and environmental economics and policy.
Favorite horticultural crop: tomatoes and cucumbers
Favorite flower: Daisies
Saxon Brown is a double major in ANR and Education Studies at Berea. She is originally from Columbia, Missouri. Saxon has always loved plants and most things related to them: eating (locally!), cooking, gardening, hiking, cut flowers, etc. She has tended her own personal gardens in the past and worked at a farmers market, a garden center, and a few local food eateries/groceries back home. Saxon is working at the greenhouse to gain an understanding of a large scale gardening operation and to be able to enjoy hard work and beautiful plants and people. In the future, Saxon hopes to use her double major to work with people of all ages in rural and urban areas on community-based agriculture projects. Though she has many beloved plants, Saxon’s favorite vegetable of the moment is tatsoi, and she is looking forward to the daffodils and magnolia blossoms of Spring!
Simone Grace Bullen of Chicago, Illinois is a senior with a double major in Women’s Studies and African and African American Studies. Simone has been working at the Berea College Gardens and Greenhouse for four semesters. Outside of college, her main horticulture experience was in the summer of 2009 when she worked at one of Growing Power’s urban farms on the Southside of Chicago. She decided to work at the college greenhouse when she became interested in food politics and decided that learning to grow food was crucial to creating food justice and security as well as connecting with nature. Of the crops Simone has grown, her favorites are bell peppers, basil, and strawberries.