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Hamline University 1536 Hewitt Avenue Saint Paul, MN 55104 U.S.A.
You Are What You Eat
If the old adage “you are what you eat” is true, local residents are in good shape thanks to the efforts of SPROUT: Students Proposing Real Options for Underutilized Territory. Founded by Hamline senior Margaret Shields (Bloomington, Minnesota), SPROUT produces fresh, organic food for the elderly in two campus gardens. Students coordinate with neighbors and members of the Hamline United Methodist Church to tend the gardens and transport the produce to the Hamline Midway Elders, a nonprofit organization that cares for senior citizens living in the area. The group also plans film series and other events to educate the public on sustainable agriculture and environmental justice.
“Connecting with our neighbors makes the group stronger by uniting assets of the university and the surrounding community,” says Shields. “It also helps students think about their place [in the world] outside of Hamline.”
SPROUT uses the “Three Sisters” method of planting -- a traditional mound planting style with corn in the middle, beans surrounding the corn, and squash around the beans. The system offers numerous environmental benefits. “The corn takes nitrogen from the soil, while the beans put nitrogen into the soil,” says Shields. “The beans use the corn stock as a trellis, and the squash spreads over the mound, keeping moisture in and weeds out.”
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1536 Hewitt Avenue - Saint Paul, MN 55104-1284