Have you ever had lunch at the Mel? If you have, chances are, you’ve eaten organic produce grown just 2 miles away at the University of Rochester MicroFarm. Run by students, the MicroFarm is a non-profit farm located in the Whipple Park area. It was founded recently, in 2011 by Caitlin Smigelski and Annalise Kjølhede as their Kauffman Entrepreneurial Year (KEY) project. The students founded the farm with the goals of increasing healthy, locally grown food at the University, as well as promoting sustainability, educating students about sustainable eating habits and encouraging positive community interactions. The farm grows produce like carrots, garlic, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, kale and mint, and sells their bounty to the Meliora Restaurant on campus. The proceeds go towards education efforts and farming supplies.
They have worked with middle schools in the Rochester City School District, and plan to continue collaboration with students. In the past, freshman halls have volunteered at the farm for Wilson Day, an annual day of community service.
As the growing season is drawing to a close, the farm is planting more items like garlic, which can remain underground during the winter. For more information and updates, check out their blog, facebook page or email one of the managers at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com . The farm is always looking for volunteers, so if you’re interested, consider lending some of your time to helping out!
As a postscript to this blog, and with great sadness, we note the passing of the farm’s co-founder, Annalise Kjølhede, who was a bright and passionate member of the University community.
Written by Leslie Wolf, Class of 2015