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Stuck in the Middle with Food

Peppers from the farm
September 25, 2017

UMD’s Land Lab, an organic farm, is hosting 600 seventh graders on Sept. 27 and 28 as part of Healthy Northland Farm to School. 

School groups from Ordean East Middle School are at the Land Lab at 3568 Riley Road on Wednesday, September 27. Lincoln Park Middle School students will visit on Thursday, September 28.

The seventh graders have been talking about local food systems in their classrooms, and this field trip gives them an opportunity to experience what they’ve been learning. The students will rotate through six interactive stations about soil health, composting, harvesting, energy, pollination, local food systems, and sustainability. 

"We're looking forward to this third-annual collaboration with Healthy Northland Farm to School and the Duluth Public School system, integrating the study of local food systems and sustainable agriculture into the middle school life sciences curriculum," says Land Lab Director Randel Hanson. 

Healthy Northland Farm to School

Farm to School initiatives in our area began in 2014 with a $100,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture. It was awarded to the Carlton-Cook-Lake-St. Louis Community Health Board, Duluth and Lake County School Districts, and Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center.

Beyond this field trip, Duluth Farm to School initiatives include incorporating agriculture lessons in the classroom and bringing local food into school kitchens.

The project has impacted more than 7,500 students.

UMD Land Lab

The UMD Land Lab is a 30-acre field site that harvests 20-25 tons of sustainably-grown food for UMD Dining Services.  

The UMD Land Lab formed in 2009 to institute collaboration, education, and research around regional food systems. “The farm is where education and operations come together, creating a sustainable evolution of ideas and action,” says Hanson.