Grown on Campus: “University of Iowa Gardeners”

The prairie played the lead role in Iowa’s ecological narrative. Centuries of carbon-sequestering growth, decay, regeneration, and decay again developed Iowa’s exceptionally rich layer of topsoil which attracted unprecedented agricultural development ever since the advent of the United States’ westward expansion. The traditional agricultural practices employed during those years, however, harmed the native ecosystem: The waters polluted with chemical runoff, the topsoil sucked of those nutrients that once made it ripe for cultivation. Organic agriculture mitigates these adverse environmental impacts, and that is why at the University of Iowa’s one-third acre garden provides students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with organic agriculture. The garden also encourages discussion about the social, cultural, and economical issues that affect our contemporary food system. The Iowa University hosts various events that engage students and the community with the environment, and donated each year hundreds of pounds of organic produce to the local community food pantry.


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