The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

GV Sustainability and Agriculture Project reopens annual farmers stand

GVL/ Alena Visnovsky

The Beekeepers, a Grand Valley State University student organization, joins the Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP) to sell home-grown produce and organic honey in a weekly farmers market celebrating their joint advocation for sustainability at the Cook Carillon Tower starting Wednesday, Aug. 30.

All products available for sale are locally grown and collected at GVSU through the sustainability and agriculture programs.  President of the Beekeepers Club Vivian Gaskin said the Beekeepers are very popular among students because they can experience firsthand beekeeping. 

“(Beekeepers offer members the) opportunity to learn about beekeeping and gain hands-on experience,” Gaskin said. 

Many students in the beekeepers club join for enjoyment and as an added educational experience. Lots of the group’s activities include bee-related crafts like making beeswax chapstick from the honey of SAP center bees. 

The SAP, located just off campus in Jenison, Mich., is a learning community where all students can come together to learn about farm life. Students have the chance to learn critical thinking skills, research plants and experience a small working farm environment. SAP’s founding idea is to have an accessible farm that focuses on research to share with the greater community.

SAP allows students to put theory into practice. They can gain experience with types of soil and which vegetables work best under different conditions. Students get to witness the entire process of growth culminating in the picking, cleaning and selling of produce. They also have the opportunity to talk with the workers of the SAP community and bounce ideas off of one another.

Farm Club, an extension of the SAP program, is a club where dedicated students spend their time volunteering at SAP and working in different aspects of the organization helping it to run. 

“(SAP is) a welcoming environment and students have the opportunity to learn from our staff but also from each other. It provides them a space to grow and learn, try new things and meet new people,” Director of the Office of Sustainability Practices Yumiko Jakobcic said. 

Those who go to the program not only get to be immersed in a world of sustainability, but they get opportunities to learn in a multitude of ways.

Currently, the SAP program offers drop-in volunteering opportunities every Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon and every Friday from noon to 3 p.m. They also have a community plot where students and community members alike can grow their produce for $25 a plot. The SAP program provides all of the soil needed and tools are available as well.

The Beekeepers and the SAP program have always worked together, benefiting from the natural symbiotic relationship of bees and plants. They will continue working together, joining forces to sell produce every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Cook Carillon Tower.

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