Wilson College Farm Provides Fresh Produce Using IPM, Alternative Sources of Energy
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - Why should someone living in the heart of Pennsylvania's farmland have to buy produce trucked in from California? Thanks to Fulton Farm at Wilson College, many people don't have to.
Fulton Farm is part of The Richard Alsina Fulton Center for Sustainable Living (FCSL), a unit at Wilson College. Dedicated to the sustainable use and protection of natural resources, the center has a seven-acre farm, which runs the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and offers facilities for sustainable agriculture. The statewide Pennsylvania IPM Advisory Committee held its summer meeting at the farm in July.
Farm Manager Matt Steiman says the farm provides a natural setting for classes and workshops in ecological stewardship and restoration, agroecology and organic farming techniques. "The farm also provides fresh, organically grown produce to over 150 families May through October. We raise a variety of fruit, vegetable, and herb crops," says Steiman.
Many of the growing techniques used on the farm are part of an integrated pest management, or IPM program. IPM aims to manage pests -- such as insects, diseases, weeds and animals -- by combining best management tactics that are proven to be safe and environmentally compatible. IPM integrates knowledge of pest identity and biology with pest monitoring so that actions, if any, can be taken at just the right time.
Fulton grows its produce without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides and manages wastes through natural processes that rely on human labor and farm machinery run on biodiesel fuel, which is produced on site using donated used cooking oil. In addition, over 5,000 square feet of passive solar greenhouse space lets the farm grow vegetables year-round without using external energy for heating or cooling.
According to Steiman, members of the CSA contribute financial or physical support to the farm, and in return receive fresh, organically grown weekly produce, access to fresh baked goods and sustainable produced animal products, pick-your-own vegetables for canning during surplus, plus other benefits. "We also distribute food through Wilson College's dining hall and the Southgate Farmer's Market, a 'local producers only' market that provides fresh produce to a nearby low-income neighborhood," says Steiman. The farm also donates food to several local food agencies and shelters.
In addition to Fulton Farm, the FCSL also includes the Robyn Van En Center, which is the U.S. national resource center for CSA's; the Sustainable Energy Projects, including the biodiesel project; outreach activities and education facilities.
For more information on the CSA program at Wilson College or the Fulton Farm and Fulton Center for Sustainable Living, please visit Web site http://www.wilson.edu/csl/. You may also contact farm manager, Matthew Steiman by phone at (717) 709-1995 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Pennsylvania IPM program is a collaboration between the Pennsylvania State University and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture aimed at promoting integrated pest management in both agricultural and nonagricultural situations. For more information, contact the program at (814) 865-2839, or Web site http://paipm.cas.psu.edu. To view our archived news releases, see Web site http://paipm.cas.psu.edu/NewsReleases/newsRelease.html.
For more information, contact:
Public Relations and Outreach Coordinator
Pennsylvania IPM Program
501 ASI Building
Penn State University
University Park, PA 16802
Web site: http://paipm.cas.psu.edu