Sharing the harvest

By AACC 21st Century Center Staff

A learning opportunity turns into an opportunity to give back at an Oregon college.

The organic farm at Linn-Benton Community College in Oregon gives agriculture and horticulture students an opportunity for hands-on learning. It also gives them an opportunity to help others.

Produce grown in the student organic farm is offered at a farmer’s market table in the LBCC courtyard. Oftentimes, there would be leftovers. Agriculture/horticulture instructional specialist Miriam Edell, who oversees the farmer’s market table, had an idea.

Family Connections program specialist Cheryl French said that Edell, “knew we were doing a program to support pregnant, parenting LBCC students, and a lot of those students have very little money.” Edell contacted French to ask if the surplus from the market would be welcome for distribution to parents in their program. The answer?


“We previously brought some excess produce to Linn-Benton foodshare earlier this year,” agriculture/horticulture faculty Stefan Seiter said in a press release. “But now that things are slowing down and students are here, we don’t have as much — but Miriam thought it would be a great idea to distribute to those students and their families.”

Once the fruits and vegetables are dropped off, students would receive a text. Many would come after they picked up their kids from the Head Start program.

“It’s been a wonderful thing,” French said. “A couple of the little kids got introduced to vegetables they’d never eaten before, like the pineapple ground cherry.” One parent was thrilled to pick up a sack of cucumbers, as she loves to make pickles.

“It has been a great feeling to share the harvest,” Edell said.

“And the kids really like the little cherry tomatoes,” French added.

View more photos of the harvest here.  

AACC 21st Century Center Staff

is a contributor to the 21st-Century Center.