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Department of Biological Sciences

Dodge Hall Rm 375
118 Library Dr
Rochester, MI 48309-4479
(location map)
(248) 370-3550
fax: (248) 370-4225
biology@oakland.edu

People working in a greenhouse with plants covering the ground.

Campus Student Organic Farm

The Campus Student Organic Farm (CSOF) at Oakland University is a community of students, faculty and staff committed to nourishing the local community through exceptional education and community engagement programs, fresh healthy food, and plenty of fun! The CSOF is a diversified vegetable farm growing over 50 different types of vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs located at 3070 Butler Road in the southeast corner of campus at the intersection of Adams and Butler roads.

For more information about the academic programs, class farm tours, and scheduling group activities at the farm, contact Dr. Fay Hansen at hansensm@oakland.edu or 248-894-2841 (text is preferable) or organicfarm@oakland.edu. You can also check out the farm's Facebook and Twitter accounts. 

2022 Community Supported Agriculture Program

The Campus Student Organic Farm (CSOF) is partnering with University Recreation and Well-Being to give you the opportunity to receive a weekly FARM SHARE of the bountiful harvests on our campus farm throughout the growing season through the Community Supported Agriculture (commonly known as CSA) model. The CSOF is a bio-intensive diversified vegetable farm, growing 40+ different types of vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs in accordance to USDA National Organic Program guidelines and best practices.  Students, faculty, staff, community members (and potentially you!) all contribute their knowledge, skills, and time throughout the year to bring you a colorful, fresh, diverse and healthy array of seasonal organic produce!

Share Definition and Terms 
For the 2022 season the CSOF is offering Personal Farm Shares for the FULL SEASON as well as for partial seasons (EARLY, LATE SEASONS).  A Personal Share is approximately 1/2 bushel of farm produce, appropriate for 2 people.  A share generally weighs 8 – 10 lbs and sometimes more.  Shares will always consist of a minimum of five different seasonal offerings. Our weekly FLOWER SHARE consists of a large seasonal bouquet of fresh-cut flowers.  NEW this season we are offering a weekly MICROGREENS SHARE. Shares are priced as follows: 

PRODUCE:

  1. FULL SEASON SHARE (16 wk – May 15 - Sept 18)*               $360
  2. EARLY SUMMER SHARE (6 wk – June 12 – July 24)*            $170
  3. LATE SUMMER/FALL SHARE (6 wk - July 31 – Sept 11)*       $180

 OTHER:

  1. FLOWER SHARE (8 wk – July 24 – Sept 18) *                         $ 80
  2. MICROGREENS SHARE (10 wk – June 12 – Aug 21)              $ 50

NOTE:  *Exact start dates for produce shares (indicated by week) are tentative as they are weather-dependent.  Members will be informed as soon as a start date can be predicted. No shares will be distributed on Memorial, Independence, and Labor Day holiday weekends.  The CSOF Farm Share program will distribute shares by member-pick-up at the Student Organic Farm (3070 Butler Rd, Rochester, MI 48309-4475). 

Enrollment
Enrollment can be done completely online through University Recreation and Well-BeingEarly enrollment is advised, as the number of shares is limited. 

Shareholder Responsibility
Your membership helps to assure that we have the funding in advance to the hire of the student leaders we need for the summer to make the Campus Student Organic Farm the successful and productive operation it has always been, if not better. We ask that shareholders understand the inherent risks and rewards and adventure involved in local agriculture.

Shares will be picked up at at the CSOF between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.on Mondays (Full Season, Flower Shares) or Fridays (Early, Late Season Shares). Shareholders are responsible for picking up their weekly share at the designated time and location and should bring their own re-usable bag.  We do not have staff or storage systems to save a members’ share for pick-up at another time except for the occasional emergency.  Consequently we ask that shareholders either notify the CSOF of a “pass” (produce will be donated) or enlist someone to pick up their share if they are unable to pick up their share in person.  Please note:  We regret that we are unable to give refunds. Should a condition arise in which the shareholder cannot use the produce, they may designate the share to be donated or they may designate a substitute share-holders.  It is not uncommon for individuals to arrange to “share a share.”

CSOF Responsibility
The CSOF will work to ensure that risk is minimized and quality is maximized, but cannot fully control the quality, quantity and frequency of specific crops in the share contents due to adverse weather and other circumstances. In the event of an extenuating circumstance that severely adversely affects share distribution or quantity/quality we will make all possible accommodations to make up the deficiency in a future share distribution or extend the duration, depending on the circumstance. We cannot, however, give refunds.

Included with the shares will be a Farm Share Newsletter and a weekly update highlighting the produce in upcoming shares, profiling the students and community growing the food, produce based recipes, farm events and more!                                     

Give to the organic farmUrban Agriculture and Agroecology Minor

OU News January 2020: Organic Farm grows future leaders while reaping local awards
OU News August 2019: OU Campus Student Organic Farm launches crowdfunding campaign

Transcript

The farm allows anyone to come and volunteer. Through that, there’s class periods, group discussions - family-style - where you really learn about the benefits of the food and the benefits that it does for the environment that you live in.

I think it’s really important to know where your food comes from and how to grow your own food, especially for emergency sake purposes. I think it’s just a safety thing that’s really good to know. I’m actually an education major. I have nothing to do with farming or anything like that but it’s kind of, more so, a hobby.

It’s something that anyone can be a part of whether you want to work hands-on or whether you want to do research or if you’re just interested in learning about being helpful and mindful of what you’re putting in your body.

We’re all pretty friendly, so we always like to support each other in what they’re doing and you have lots of different ideas and opinions around here and different backgrounds. Very few have the same major but we’re all interested in food and stuff like that.

I don’t know, it’s kind of just opened my eyes to a whole new world and it’s a cool and fun experience that I think anybody should come and at least learn a little bit of.

Academics

We offer courses covering biology, ecology, food systems, human health and more. This is a list of the undergraduate courses currently available:

  • BIO 3360 ­ Organic Farming (lecture)
  • BIO 3361 ­ Applied Organic Farming (lab & field studies)
  • BIO 3362 ­ Permaculture
  • BIO 3363 ­ Permaculture Laboratory
  • BIO 4338  Food Systems Biology

The Organic Farming and Permaculture courses give Oakland students a hands­-on learning opportunity that examines the relationships between food, fiber, and fuel production practices as well as gain an understanding of sustainability and community health.

Courses are not just for students interested in biology, sustainability, nutrition or farming. They provide an intersection between numerous disciplines and emphasize problem ­solving, teamwork and collaboration.

Several major concentrations such as healthcare, education, business, marketing, and communications could all benefit from the hands-­on training that an organic farm has to offer.

We offer an Urban Agriculture and Agroecology Minor and also provide students many opportunities to perform community service or complete a special project for their classes.

Fresh, Healthy Food

The farm grows over 50 varieties of fresh produce and cut flowers. Produce is harvested from our gardens and distributed to the campus community through our weekly summer/fall Campus Farmstand and through subscriptions to a Farm Share program.

Farmstand: Our student-operated Campus Farmstand is held every Thursday, starting the second week of July and running through the second week of October. The farmstand is located in front of Kresge Library near the Elliott Tower, but is moved indoors to the OU Recreation Center during inclement weather. We also hold an annual Thanksgiving produce and bake sale at the OU Recreation Center from 10AM until 2PM the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

Farmshares: Produce is also distributed through our Farm Share program, which is based on the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) model. We offer a Full Season (20 week share), and 3 different eight-week shares: Early Season, Late Season, and Flowers. A Farm Share consists of a weekly half-bushel share of the farm’s seasonal produce, consisting of 4-8 varieties of produce, depending on the season. Contact organicfarm@oakland.edu for details on price, dates, and availability.

Feeding the Community: We offer our volunteers “farmer food” and donate produce to several nonprofit services in the area.

Get Involved

Get hands­-on experience at the farm, at the Campus Farmstand or at events. Volunteer opportunities are communicated through our email list and Facebook. Alternatively you may send an email to organicfarm@oakland.edu for more information.

OU students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to work directly with the farm through the Growing Grizzlies. The organization helps distribute produce on campus to students as well as local nonprofit organizations. They provide education and student/community engagement opportunities on food systems and health including educational/demonstration events, speakers, film screenings, farm potlucks, campus events and more. Contact StudentOrganicFarmersOU@gmail.com,​ or follow them on Facebook.

The Campus Student Organic Farm also hosts interns from the Environmental Sciences (ENV), Integrated Studies Program and others.

The farm offers student employment and leadership opportunities. The Summer Student Campus Corp (SSCC) ­is a full time summer (May­-August) program designed to give students work experience. Students interested in a particular focus of food systems can apply for Work Study at the farm.