GREENSBORO, N.C. — N.C. A&T State University is helping students and community members learn how to grow their own food.
What You Need To Know
- East Greensboro, where the Student and Community Farm is located, has historically been considered a food desert
- The community portion of the farm allows people to grow food for themselves
- The farm is expanding with the University Farm Pavilion, which opened its doors in September 2021
N.C. A&T’s University Farm is nearly 500 acres dedicated to raising crops, livestock and teaching students with hands-on experience. The university broke ground on the student and community garden back in 2019. The community garden has 10 raised beds for community members to rent and grow their own fruits, vegetables and other crops.
“It’ll be less that I have to buy from the grocery store, and I’ll have the opportunity to share with my family,” community member, Denise Jones said.
Students plant their own crops to study and observe. Baker Zitawi, a master's program student, believes having this hands-on approach brings awareness to farming practices.
“The farmwork we’re doing right now is important because it provides students with a firsthand experience. An opportunity to come out and do the work that you would expect to do,” Zitawi said.
The student garden often donates what it grows to different efforts across Greensboro to help combat food insecurity. Teaching community members how to grow their own food also fights against food insecurity.
This is especially important since East Greensboro, where the farm is located, has historically dealt with food insecurity.
“We donate a lot of what we grow, so it’s very nice to feel like you’re helping the community and helping others who are less fortunate, who might not have food on the table,” Zitawi said.
The University Farm Pavilion opened its doors in September 2021. The facility holds lab space, a kitchen and classrooms. University leaders have plans to grow and expand this area in coming years.