Sustainable Agricultural Project helps GV on and off campus


GVL | Bethann Long

Maddie Zimmerman, Staff Writer

Every Wednesday from June to Oct. from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. there is a weekly farm stand put on by the Sustainable Agricultural Project (SAP) at the clock tower on Grand Valley State University’s campus. 

Along with the weekly farmer’s stand, there are farmers’ markets that offer more fresh produce to GVSU students.

The weekly farmer’s stand consists of a limited number of vegetables and tables of flowers to purchase at the clocktower. The monthly farmers’ markets have multiple vendors available. More information can be found at

The SAP is located just south of GVSU’s Allendale campus on Luce St.

Vivian Gaskin is a junior at GVSU studying environmental science and interning for SAP as a food access intern. 

“SAP is a collaborative space that relies on students and volunteers and is centered around education,” Gaskin said. “The goal of the project is to spread awareness of regenerative agriculture practices and their significance in the fight against climate change and to provide a source of fresh, local and affordable produce for students.”  

Students who want to get involved have many different options to pick from besides farming. 

“We’re always happy to see new faces at the farm, no experience is required,” Gaskin said. 

As far as the farming process is concerned there are a lot of tasks that students can volunteer to help with around the farm. Their current volunteer hours are Tuesday through Thursday. Tasks at the farm can range from pulling weeds, harvesting, planting seeds, pest removal and other jobs, Gaskin said. 

There are several different categories that interns can pick from. 

“Interns choose a specific focus area, such as composting, photography, social media or green chemistry,” Gaskin said. 

Internship programs for SAP are available to students every fall, winter and spring.

“I am currently a food access intern, which involves researching inequities in food systems and coming up with strategies for increasing availability of produce to those in need,” Gaskin said. 

As for setting up the farmers’ market on campus director of the Office of Sustainability Practices, Yumiko Jakobcic, said a team of GVSU staff makes the weekly event possible. 

“There are several folks from Facilities Services who are the behind-the-scenes heroes,” Jakobcic said. “They put out all of the signs, put cones in the parking lot and bring us tables, chairs, tents and generators.” 

Michael Hinkle, Farm Manager and Educator of the Office of Sustainability Practices, said that volunteering at the SAP changes students’ understanding of what farming entails. 

Most farming isn’t making plants grow, they do that well on their own,” Hinkle said. “It’s more about learning how to work with the plants and how to optimize their capabilities in a sustainable fashion.” 

SAP educates students about sustainability by providing different resources through the program. SAP has a laboratory, a studio space, a gallery, a field-site and a business. This gives students several different opportunities to get involved in the program and also customize their experience to what they’re interested in. 

To learn more about the farmers markets and the SAP farm or how to get involved go to for more information.