Students continue working on micro farm during summer


Nathan Goldsmith


Architecture senior Daniella Lewis lays down cardboard while volunteering at Micro Farm.

Gefei Liu

Students working on the UT micro farm, a student-run on-campus farm stand, will continue building the farm during the summer months.

A green house is still under construction at the back of the farm, while structure and layout are roughly established. Plants, such as tomato and some herbs are already growing in the soil, and the farm supply vegetables and fruits to dining halls on campus after this summer. 

Volunteers are encouraged to help during the summer. The work time falls on three workdays every week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Farm work ranges from sowing the seeds to hoeing the soil.

Ethan Howley, an engineering sophomore, serves as a volunteer for the micro farm. He said he wishes the farm can keep producing and the University can provide more land for farming.

“I think we have to prove this micro farm is really successful so they may give us more land,” Howley said.

The micro farm was set up last year in the fall, and it did not start growing plants until May.

Juliet Laney, a student coordinator, said the micro farm might be fully functional after this summer. 

“It will be an ongoing process because gardening is like year around in Texas,” Laney said. “It is the first season now but the fall will be the first time to figure out where all of our produces are going.”

When it comes to the distribution of the production, Laney said most of the products will go to the dining halls on campus. Some portion will be sold to farm stands. Products still available will be donateted or given to volunteers.

Laney said the micro farm may not supply a lot of food to the dining hall, but it instead will set a platform for students to run a farm by themselves. 

UT Green Fee sponsors the micro farm. Karen Blaney, a program coordinator of the Green Fee, said they wish the students could run the farm well. 

“We’re supporting the students’ desire to engage in and contribute to the hyper-local food production movement that is currently popular in Austin and Central Texas,” Blaney said.

The Division of Housing and Food Service will be adding gardens on campus, but there is no current plan to set up another farm, Blaney said.