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Student harvesting vegetables at the Campus Farm

Campus Farm

Farming 101

The CLC Campus Farm harvests nearly 25,000 pounds of produce each year. The farm produce and honey from the apiary are used at Café Willow for use in its menu and sold at CLC’s seasonal farm market.

Food scraps from Café Willow are brought here, mixed with garden waste and ultimately become compost, feeding healthy microbes in the soil and fertilizing the fruit and vegetable crops.

In the fall, deep-rooting cover crops are planted and leaves from the arboretum are spread to protect the garden from erosion and compaction. This sustainable farming practice leaves the soil healthy for the next season’s crops.

Illustration of how CLC Campus Farm's sustainable farming practice

There are nearly 350 farms in Lake County covering 30,000 acres and selling more than $35,000 worth of products each year. In Illinois, 97 percent of farms are owned by individuals, family partnerships and family corporations.

Campus Farm Benefits

At the College

The Hoticulture program offers a certificate and associate degree in Sustainable Agriculture. Students learn how to manage a farming business and to follow natural and organic growing practices. The nationwide need for more farmers is growing, as is the demand for high-quality, sustainably-grown food.

In the Community

Almost half of all organic farms in the U.S. sell directly to consumers, such as through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs and farmers markets. By visiting farmer markets, you can get to know the people who grow your food and help support this vital local industry.

Around the World

Nearly 90 percent of farms around the world are less than five acres in size. CLC offers study abroad programs where students have the opportunity to visit farming operations in their host countries, such as banana and coffee plantations in San Jose, Costa Rica, or vineyards in Dijon, France.