The UST Stewardship Garden and CILCE (Center for Intercultural Learning and Community Engagement) sponsored a trip to the Anathoth Community Farm in Luck, Wis., on Aug. 18.
Anathoth is a working full-scale organic farm run by an intentional-living community. Similar to a co-op, the community is dedicated, in the words of co-founder Mike Miles, “to make as little impact as possible on the planet.”
When members are not working on the farm, they dedicate their time to service by feeding refugees and educating the public about the dangers of nuclear weaponry and environmental pollution. UST has enjoyed a partnership with Anathoth via the Justice and Peace Studies course “Active Nonviolence,” which incorporates a visit to the farm into the curriculum.
Miles and co-founder Barb Kass gave the UST group a tour of the homestead, which includes a two-acre organic garden, a 100-year-old log home and a greenhouse. The garden uses a four-part crop rotation method that alternates pigs, clover, potatoes, and assorted vegetables and herbs, which helps to replenish nutrients in the soil and nearly eliminates the need to purchase seeds. The farm also contains chickens and a large pasture for cattle that mimics their natural herding patterns.
The group was treated to a lunch comprised entirely of food grown at Anathoth, after which they repaid their hosts by picking fruit and vegetables to be sold at a farmer’s market. The proceeds will support the farm and its causes.
The trip was organized by the UST Stewardship Garden and co-sponsored by CILCE as part of a push to further involve the UST community in environmental and social justice issues, and to inspire new projects. Members from the garden were joined on the trip by individuals from the Student Sustainability Committee, the Green Team, CILCE, the Food Desert Initiative, and Campus Ministry.
The trip served as an opportunity for the CILCE and Service-Learning offices to touch base with faculty members working on the Food Desert Initiative, as well as to provide a connecting point for different groups that share the common goal of broadening St. Thomas’ commitment to environmental sustainability.