When it comes to B Street Farm, people really do make the difference. The caretaker of the farm, Miguel Cervantes, is one of those people.
Whether he is feeding the animals or assisting a student with a project, Cervantes is known for his passion for working with the land and inability to sit still during his day.
For him, B Street Farm is much more than a patch of land, it is a teaching tool and provides him the opportunity to both learn and share his knowledge with people about permaculture.
Cervantes is always eager to tell of the future he hopes B Street Farm will have.
He said there are several ideas for projects that include building an outdoor kitchen, amphitheatre, gateway and wheelchair path.
These projects are all a part of a master plan created by Cervantes and a handful of other students in 2009. The master plan is in booklet form and Cervantes always keeps it with him on the job. Although it’s been a couple years since it was first created, and has seen some wear and tear since that time, Cervantes still hopes that those plans will one day come to fruition.
Cervantes said he is excited for the projects to get started but the only problem is, there is no money available for them to get off the ground.
In terms of fundraising for those projects, art professor Tery O’day also said that is not really being done at the moment.
She said that a large cause of this is lack of time. Other people involved with taking care of B Street Farm are professors or full time students, and Cervantes is the only person who exclusively works at the site.
O’Day is optimistic though. She said that B Street Farm is in the process of being accepted as an institutional feature of Pacific University.
“It has a lot to offer, and in terms of education this site offers hands on learning,” said O’day. “We have a lot of classes that come out here and everyone can take something away from that experience.”
O’Day said the best option would be to apply for large grants, and B Street Farm is definitely eligible because it is a great teaching tool in sustainability.
Other students are getting involved as well to ensure that the farm gets as much help as it needs.
Graduate Anna Lund started up the B Street Farm club in the fall of 2010, specifically so more money could be put into the property. She became involved with B Street Farm as a freshman and hasn’t left it since.
“After I visited for the first time, I just fell in love it,” Said Lund. “There’s so much potential for student projects and involvement, I just couldn’t stay away.”
According to Lund, B Street Farm ran out of their work study funds in the fall semester and doesn’t have the money it needs to finance all the projects students want to be involved with. Her setting up of the club allowed for people to go to the farm and work there as part of club involvement, but also meant funds for the club were going towards B Street Farm.
For Lund, having a student institution specifically dedicated to B Street Farm was essential, especially with the lack of funds the farm has.
“I just thought, this has to happen, someone has to do it, and that person is me,” Lund said.
Not only was Lund the president of the B Street Farm club last year, she is also working on constructing a willow structure on the running trail that passes through the property.
Projects like Lund’s are not uncommon at B Street Farm and neither is the passion that those involved with the farm have for its success. Visiting the property, it’s impossible not to get wrapped up in that passion for sharing ideas and promoting sustainable learning and living.
Although it started as an unknown entity of Pacific University, B Street Farm is now an integral part of student curriculum and according to O’Day, it will only continue to grow from here on out.