ACRES Student Farm
1000 E. University Ave., Dept 3354
Laramie, WY 82071
Click below to view our new and ongoing projects:
The majority of what ACRES does involves cultivating crops that are later sold at the Laramie Farmers' Market and in CSA shares (what's a CSA share?). ACRES also strives to be sustainable in every respect, so the farm operates using organic methods and practices. This means that we don't use any synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers with our precious vegetables. We rotate our crops every season and amend the soil with our very own compost (see more about our composting operation), bringing the sustainability full circle; from soil to crops to compost and then back to soil. These sustainable advantages are passed on to you, as our produce travels only a few miles from where it's grown to where it's sold.
Leaf crops: lettuce, spinach, arugula, sorrel, kale, mustards
Root crops: carrots, turnips, beets, radishes, kohlrabi, rutabaga, potatoes, onions, leeks, garlic
Other crops: zucchini, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, peas (sugar snap and snow), broccoli, cauliflower, collards, brussels sprouts
Herbs: chives, mint, oregano, tarragon, dill, cilantro, basil
Due to the success of our pilot CSA program during the summer of 2010, we have expanded and are continuing this wonderful opportunity to promote local agriculture. What is a CSA? CSA stands for community supported agriculture, a program in which members buy a "share" (or a half share) of produce at the beginning of the season and then receive a basket of said produce every week of the season. CSA programs form a more intimate relationship between farmers and consumers, as the consumers share the risks and benefits of farming. For example, if the farmer has a bumper tomato crop, CSA participants will likely share in the bounty. However, if the farm's spinach is wiped out by a hail storm, the farm as well as the CSA members will share the loss.
Interested in joining the ACRES CSA Program for the summer of 2013? Unfortunately we have sold all of our CSA shares for the 2013 season. Please keep us in mind for next season!
Have you ever enjoyed food and/or beverages from high quality Laramie restaurants such as Coal Creek Coffee Company, Turtle Rock Coffee, The Grounds, Sweet Melissa Vegetarian Cafe, or Altitude Chophouse and Brewery? Or maybe you've eaten at a University of Wyoming venue, such as Washakie Dining Center, the Union Food Court, or UW Catering? If so, you have participated in ACRES Student Farm's composting program!
How it works: twice a week, we drive around town in our farm truck and collect vegetable and fruit scraps, egg shells, stale bread, and coffee grounds from the above mentioned restaurants. We then haul this precious organic matter back to the farm where we add it to our compost piles, and after several months under our care, the compost piles have been transformed from lowly kitchen waste into nutrient-packed soil. We then use this top quality dirt to grow our own veggies!
If you would like to donate your own kitchen scraps to ACRES, we have three community compost drop-off sites: one along the fence of the West side of the parking lot to UW's Agricultural Experiment Station (on the corner of 30th and Harney), the second at the UW Recycling Center (at 15th and Harney), and the last behind the downtown Coal Creek Coffee (near the dumpster in the back parking lot). We ask that your donations consist only of pre-prepared fruit and veggie scraps (sorry, no table scraps, unless they have not been prepared, such as baked potato skins and grapefruit rinds), egg shells, coffee grounds, and stale bread. Please don't include any dairy or meat products! For specific questions about what can and can't be included, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACRES donates at least 10% of its produce to the Laramie Soup Kitchen. Not only do we love knowing that our delicious veggies are going to good use, but we are also in full support of building a strong community here in Laramie.
ACRES is proud to share one of our own creations with the community: a sustainable salad spinner! Since all of our produce is hand washed before it is sold, we spend a great deal of time trying to rid our lettuce, spinach, and spring mix of excess water. Until just recently, we used small, plastic salad spinners which, as you can imagine, made the process very slow and laborious. However, thanks to some creative and crafty members, we now have an industrial-sized, bicycle-powered salad spinner. This lean mean spinning' machine is made from recycled materials and consists of a bicycle attached to a washing machine barrel. Designed and constructed by some of our very own members, it's well worth a trip to the farm just to see this 8th wonder of the world!
Over the last few years, ACRES has been working with the University of Wyoming to construct a solar powered harvest facility, funded by a grant from ASUW. Completed in August 2011, this building will provide a permanent structure that we can use to wash our produce after harvesting. The building will also function as a storage facility and a place where ACRES members and volunteers can catch a break from the hot summer sun. Because ACRES is trying to remain off the power grid, the building will be equipped with solar panels that will power the facility.