May 23, 2013

Open house to showcase students’ organic produce

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- If “you are what you eat,” sometimes it’s important to know where the food came from as well as what it is.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale has taken a leadership role in the organic and local foods movements with the Center for Sustainable Farming.  Now, those involved want the community to see what they’ve got going on, and how it is making the SIU Carbondale campus greener, healthier, and more sustainable.

The Local Organic Gardening Initiative of Carbondale (LOGIC), a registered student organization affiliated with the Department of Geography and Environmental Resources, and the SIU Carbondale College of Agricultural Sciences will hold an open house from 8 to 10 a.m., June 15, at the Center for Sustainable Farming.  The center is at 3373 W. Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale.

Using all student volunteers, LOGIC maintains an SIU Carbondale student garden with raised beds, a hoop house and a permaculture site.  Permaculture is the practice of creating a landscape that is self-sustaining and food producing.

The College of Agricultural Sciences operates the Vermicomposting Center at the same location.  That project uses earthworms to turn food waste from the University’s residence hall dining rooms into fertilizer.  The project is also beginning to recycle naturally shredded paper waste.

Members of LOGIC and the Vermicomposting Center will also visit one of Carbondale’s two farmers’ markets after the open house.  Those who would like to follow along will have the opportunity to learn more about local foods and producers at the market.