Hoop House tech allows year-round farming at MSU

– Greens like this, typically
this time of year in Michigan, would be trucked in from
Arizona or California. These greens now are grown
here, in the Michigan economy, and they travel less than
a mile to the consumer. We typically, at any one
time, have about eight to 10 different salad greens in our mix. This is a mix of red leaf
lettuce and mizuna and cilantro and some mustard and there are
some oriental greens in here. – The greens from the Student Organic Farm are use exclusively Yakeley Hall every single day of the week, for lunch and for dinner,
on their salad bar and then any specialty
salads that they may do. When spinach is harvested right now, it’s almost even a little
bit sweeter than normal and it just tastes spectacular. It really, truly is exciting to have that partnership
and be able to tell people, yeah, well, those, that was
grown right here on campus. – And that’s it. This bag will last us a couple
days, generally speaking, but we often use this in recipes and anything that we need spinach for. – I come to Yakeley because
I think it’s the only hall around here that offers
stuff from the local area. – People wanna know where
their food’s coming from. Today’s consumer, today’s
guest that we have, very interested in local, very interested in our
push to sustainable. – You know, locally and
organic, I’m really into that. I think that it has more properties, you know, more, it’s more nutritious. It’s better for you. It’s very good, it’s
very fresh, very good. Definitely better than
other places on campus. – Hoop houses are a passive solar, so we’re not using any fossil
fuels to heat these houses. They’re being heated by the sun. We’ve figured out what
are the appropriate crops to grow in hoop houses. So there are some plants
that are best grown and some others that are not, and the timing of when the
plants have to go into the ground to grow throughout the season, and what will grow this time of year versus in the summer
months in a hoop house. – If they’re too crowded together, then they’ll get smaller roots. So if you give ’em the
appropriate spacing, then you get the right size vegetables. – This is a teaching program and so we have a cohort of
15 students that are here to learn in the next nine months how to be future sustainable farmers. – [Student] I sort of
stumbled upon horticulture a few years ago when I transferred to MSU. My faculty advisor suggested that I come take a look at the Student Organic Farm because I was interested
in growing vegetables. – We’re also teaching farmers
how to use this technology. And the way we do that is
through multiple venues. We’re presenting at
conferences nationally, we’re offering workshops, either here or offsite around the state, and then we frequently
have farmers come to campus and take tours to visit and see the technology as it is here. We grow about 80 different crops, A to Z, from melons to corn to storage
squash, carrots, beets. You name it, we grow it. – When we can say that we’ve partnered, part of us partnering
with the academia side to say these greens
and these food products were grown right here on campus for you, you can’t get much fresher than that. (cheerful music)

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