In 2009, Mercyhurst University’s Tim Boucher, Marlene Cross, and Mike Campbell lead the development of a sustainable university farm at Mercyhurst West in Girard, Pa. The farm project was made possible by a $25,000 funding allowance granted by the university. The Mercyhurst West Farm Project now harvests crops on about 2 acres using sustainable agricultural methods and supplies food.
Mike Picardo, who currently leases the portions of the 405-acre property where crops can be grown, and Peter Russell, who runs a landscape contracting and organic composting business on the adjoining parcel were extremely instrumental in the process. With their cooperation and assistance, preliminary site preparation of a 5-acre area was completed and a supply of finished compost was secured to allow establishment of a vegetable garden on a half-acre area on the southeast corner of the university farm.
Artwork depicting the three sisters concept
The Mercyhurst Farm supplies our on-campus food provider (Parkhurst Dining Services) with fresh vegetables and herbs, which are served in dining hall meals during the summer and in the fall semester of the school year. Farmer’s Markets are held both on campus and off campus throughout the months of June through October. Various Mercyhurst University students are often introduced to the university’s sustainability studies through the volunteering program at the farm and in-class projects and research connected with the farm