Skip to Main Content

Purdue Student Farm provides apples, grapes and more to CSA members

Since 2021 the Purdue Student Farm has provided fresh, student-grown vegetables and herbs to community members who subscribe to The Boilermaker Vegetable Season Pass. The Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program was initially created in response to challenges during the pandemic, but now it provides students with a chance to learn about direct sales as well as growing and providing fresh vegetables to the local community.

This season, the Purdue Student Farm manager, Chris Adair, wanted to provide variety to the Boilermaker CSA members. Adair connected with Peter Hirst, professor in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture (HLA) and assistant director in International Programs in Agriculture (IPIA), to provide apples from the Purdue Meigs Orchard to CSA members.

Student picking apple from tree Third-year Horticulture and Landscape Architecture student Wilifried Brown-Grimm

“Although the Purdue Meigs Farm exists as a research and Extension facility, at times we have apples that remain after our research is completed. We were pleased to partner with the Student Farm so that the excess fruit can be put to good use, and the community can enjoy some wonderful locally-grown apples,” said Hirst, who has extensive research plantings at the Purdue Meigs Farm.   

“We wanted to provide more variety in the CSA boxes as well as new educational opportunities for the Student Farm students,” said Adair. “To be able to provide the fruit in the CSA boxes and create less waste from unused fruit was a win-win situation.”

grapes-meigs

Meigs Horticulture Research Farm, located 10 miles south of the Purdue campus, is used primarily for research on a variety of fruits including apples. In early September, Adair also collaborated with Miranda Purcell, viticulture specialist with Purdue Extension, to provide Concord-like grapes that are great for making jams and jellies.

“The vineyard is set-up as a variety trial where we are testing 30+ grape varieties to determine which are viable options for planting throughout the state of Indiana,” said Purcell. “We look at characteristics such as cold hardiness, disease susceptibility, vine vigor, etc. Sunbelt is one of the varieties we have planted, and the Purdue Student Farm students harvested and provided it to the Boilermaker Season Pass CSA members this year.”

Jillian Ellison, a first-year CSA subscriber, baked an apple pie using Pixie Crunch and Honeycrisp apples provided from the Boilermaker Vegetable Season Pass in September and October.

"The fruit we've received from Meigs has been a great addition to our box each week, and the apples have been perfect for snacking or baking,” said Ellison, content and media specialist for Purdue’s College of Agriculture. “I've found the Pixie Crunch works really well for baking, too, as they tend to macerate really well for a pie, so I don't need to add any extra cider or juice when prepping the filling."

 For more information about the Purdue Student Farm, visit purdue.ag/studentfarm

Featured Stories

Farm Foundation
Feb. 2024 Forum, Seeds of Change: Exploring AI Solutions for Agriculture Today and Tomorrow

The February 2024 Farm Foundation® Forum, Seeds of Change: Exploring AI Solutions for...

Read More
The Boilermaker Special next to the Engineering Fountain
2024 Outstanding Students

2024 ASEC Outstanding Students

Read More
kingsly ambrose
No increase in dust explosion incidents last year, ten-year average remains unchanging

The annual summary recording nationwide grain dust bin explosions reported nine incidents in the...

Read More
Tanzanian farmers learn to store their maize in PICS bags
CASH-Tz: improving access to safe grain storage in Tanzania

Fighting food insecurity isn’t as simple as growing more food. One of the biggest hurdles...

Read More
mwf22corn
Purdue University to host 2024 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

Purdue University College of Agriculture is proud to announce its selection as an Institute...

Read More
Chicago skyline from the air over Lake Michigan
Purdue to help fight ‘forever chemicals’ in economy-boosting NSF-funded Great Lakes project

Purdue to help fight ‘forever chemicals’ in economy-boosting NSF-funded Great Lakes...

Read More
To Top