The Skidmore College Student Garden is an extension of the College’s Food System Initiative where food grown in the student garden is provided to the college’s dining hall thereby reducing emissions from food transport and enhancing local resilience. Started by Skidmore’s Environmental Studies and Sciences, the Food Systems Initiative is an interdisciplinary, community-based research and teaching initiative with the purpose of facilitating student exploration of the many different dimensions of food systems, including food sovereignty, renewable energy use on farms, and regenerative agriculture.
During the summer of 2022, the student garden was expanded by the construction of a hoop house, a semi-permanent greenhouse, to provide food production throughout the year. Along with the educational merits, the student garden and hoop house is expected to provide 1,000 lbs of produce to the college’s dining hall for the academic year, which has committed to procuring up to 25% of their food sustainably.
Similar community garden and hoop house projects have been implemented at Graceland University, Northern Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, Western Michigan University, Saint Francis University, University of North Georgia, Vassar College, University of California Santa Cruz, and Edmonds College, to name a few.
- Reduced food-transportation emissions.
- Improve and demonstrate resilience by year-round local food production.
- Create a year-round community space for students to produce food, learn about and practice regenerative agriculture, and be in contact with nature.
Measurement: Pounds of produce provided to the campus dining hall.
Time to Implement: Approximately one year from idea to completion. Completion of the hoop house took 10 weeks.
Skidmore Community Garden
Hoop house capstone brings together campus and community
Student-run Instagram page to follow the Hoop House progress – Skidmore College, NY
Skidmore launches Food Systems Initiative
Skidmore’s Sustainability Mid-Term Report
Graceland University Hoop House
Northern Michigan University Hoop House
Kalamazoo College Hoop House
Western Michigan University Hoop House
Saint Francis University Hoop House Produces 100 lbs of Vegetables in First Semester
Appalachian Studies Center opens Hoop House at University of North Georgia
Vassar College Farm to Fork
UCSC Campus Food Pantries
Edmonds College Campus Community Farm and Cultural Kitchen
Hoophouse Contributions to Economic Viability: Nine Michigan Case Studies
Skidmore Sustainability Office
815 North Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866