GVSU Upward Bound TRIO Flower and Herb Garden at the GVSU Sustainable Agriculture Project
Currently, we are working on plans and preparation for our fourth growing season to include the GVSU Upward Bound Students at the GVSU Sustainable Agriculture Project. Last year we faced our fair share of successes and challenges, and this program is definitely an exemplar of that.
As planned in our grant, we completed the five week program in the summer with students where they learned some of the basics of plant propagation, cultivation, and growing. Unfortunately, we had an extremely wet year last year and the constantly waterlogged fields made a challenge to schedule the students’ visit. Nevertheless, all of the students (approximately 18) were able to spend at least 8 hours learning in the field about composting, rain water catchment systems, and how to transplant the flowers / herbs they had grown during the spring. This was in addition to a course taught in the class based on the curriculum Towards a Sustainble Agriculture, developed by another SARE grant.
Since the last summer, the Sustainable Agriculture Project has been able to build a greenhouse, a hoophouse, and acquire more supplies in order to adequately provide the students with. (This was all purchased with other funds.) Furthermore, this year the students’ experience will be complimented by an in-class component with an additional instructor, providing them with either a classroom or field experience every day for 5 weeks. (Last year this was handled by one instructor and the amount of time in the field was significantly less.)
This grant has been absolutely instrumental in getting this program off the ground. We are excited about our plans and goals for this year and are incredibly grateful for the support from SARE.
Grand Valley State University
224 lake Ontario Hall, 1 Campus Drive
Allendale, MI 49401
Office Phone: 6163317366