News and Notes
MDC Office of Communications June 22, 2010 Volume 8, Number 12
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Volume 8, Number 12 > Other Stories

Earth Ethics Institute and Center for Community Involvement sprout CROPS

CROPS

—Students, faculty and staff who crave introducing organic fruits and vegetables into their diet, but have been constrained by costly price tags, can now pick up their produce at Wolfson Campus.

Community Rooted Organic Produce Services, CROPS, is an organic produce purchasing club offering organic fruits and vegetables — with the cost of membership calculated on a sliding fee — to students, faculty, administration and staff at MDC. The project is a collaborative effort between the Earth Ethics Institute (EEI) and the Center for Community Involvement (CCI).

The goal of CROPS is two-fold: 1) To offer quality, healthy, chemical-free (certified-organic) food (locally or regionally grown when possible) to the MDC community;  2) To also serve as a service-learning project by working with faculty and students to create a hands-on learning opportunity about organic agriculture, quality food availability, nutrition and other discipline-specific topics.

“Wolfson Campus is basically located in a food desert and we wanted to serve our Wolfson Campus Community,” stated Colleen Ahern-Hettich, director of the Earth Ethics Institute. “We hope that we will grow a huge community of organic fruit and vegetable eaters while supporting organic farmers as well. Once we work out the kinks and interest more faculty and staff in identifying service-learning participants, we plan to expand it to all our MDC campuses.”

Applicants can sign up for full shares or half shares. Full shares are meant to feed a family of three or four, who consume a lot of fruits and vegetables. Smaller families, or families who don’t consume many fruits and vegetables, may purchase half shares. All shares are priced on a sliding scale, with full shares priced between $40 and $48 and half shares priced between $20 and $25. A cost comparison of conventional and organic produce purchased from a local supermarket determined that a comparable share of conventional (non-organic) produce costs $38, while organic produce costs $70. 

Shares are available at the Wolfson Campus for pick-up by members every two weeks.

CROPS student interns oversee the CROPS newsletter and work every delivery day with EEI and CCI staff. Students who would like to participate in a service-learning internship with CROPS, or anyone wanting to be a member and purchase produce, may contact Colleen Ahern-Hettich at 305-237-3796, cahernhe@mdc.edu or Madelyn Moyer at 305-237-7119 or mmoyer@mdc.edu.

 For more information, please visit www.earthethicsinstitute.org/crops.asp.