B Street Farms

Nearby organic farm encourages student visitation for fun & fresh produce

Nicholas Stevens

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Months of hard labor and determination have led to yet another bountiful harvest season at B Street Farm. Pacific University students and faculty alike are encouraged to visit the local farm and pick up fresh produce including: corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis and peppers.

Ron Calkins, manager of B Street Farm, invites students to relax at the beautiful farm and leave with bunches of certified organic vegetables. “That way I get credit for growing it and a student gets to leave with a bag of fresh produce,” Calkins said with a smile.

B Street Farm has been a part of Pacific since 2003. Much of the food grown on the four-acre farm goes straight to the University Center (UC) where it’s incorporated into student’s meals. The local farm also delivers to the Interprofessional Diabetes Clinic at Pacific’s Hillsboro campus.

According to Calkins, B Street also serves as a great place for students to spend time outside and learn about sustainability. Many environmentally conscious projects have been put up on site, including a green roof for the rabbit hutch and a greywater treatment system. Those are just a few of the projects across the farm; many have come and go but the owners are always willing to hear out a good idea.

“Having student interest is what it’s all about,” says Calkin. “When a student wants to come by the farm and do a project it’s great, it’s an awesome place to do that.”

Outdoor farming is a very seasonal profession though, so during the colder months nothing will be harvested.

This year, Calkins plans to grow microgreens on Pacific’s Forest Grove campus or at B Street Farm in a greenhouse. Microgreens are the small green sprouts of vegetables and herbs, and can easily be grown indoors.

According to Calkins they’re very nutritious and have a stronger taste than their full-grown counterparts.

B Street Farm is maintained by Pacific’s own work-study students as well as volunteers. Some of the farm hand labor includes weeding, sheet mulching, harvesting crops, planting and rabbit tending.

Anyone interested in volunteering or establishing a work-study position can visit the “B Street Farm” page of Pacific’s site for more information, or visit the property at 1155 B Street in Forest Grove, Ore.

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