Merry Lea Farm Blog

Summer in the Soil

By spending time at Merry Lea Sustainable Farm in the heart of summer, Agroecology Summer Intensive students and volunteers are afforded unique opportunities of seeing food and fiber production in action. But hopefully the experience doesn’t stop at seeing food production. It is the intent of Merry Lea to have a farm that also offers a chance to fall in love with the mysteries of the natural world, to feel connected to place, and to feel rejuvenated by the surroundings of fresh air, sunshine, and a community of people and creatures. Education in the field can be personally transformative.

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sorghum evaporator

Campus Farm Enhances Liberal Arts Education

It’s the sorghum season at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College and two Goshen College students stand at the sorghum evaporator skimming foam off of a vivid green liquid.

Miguel Rodrigez, a junior history major, and Erica Ewing, a freshman considering both history and sustainability studies, are both early for a field trip with their Food History course. The group is touring the Merry Lea Sustainable Farm today.

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Ruth milking

Farm Now Fully Staffed with Livestock

Animals are part of all natural systems. On a farm, they provide not only meat, milk or wool; they also reduce off-farm inputs by contributing their waste to the nutrient cycle. In educational settings like the Merry Lea Sustainable Farm, they enable students to learn animal husbandry. For all these reasons, a full barn is something to celebrate.

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Larry Yoder and Melissa Kinsey

ASI Bids Farewell to Two Long-Term Faculty

The 2017 Agroecology Summer Intensive (ASI) was the last year for two faculty members who have served the program since its inception in 2006. Larry Yoder and Melissa Kinsey were honored for their contributions at the concluding celebration of the 2017 ASI in early August.

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Jess Raffel giving a presentation on weed management.

Agroecology Students Share Research–On the Spot

Students in Merry Lea’s Agroecology Summer Intensive not only learn to grow things; they also work at communicating their learnings to others. In late July, they presented projects on topics such as composting, weed management and pastured chickens in a public forum open to community members. 

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Farm Food Reaches Mouths Via CSA

Merry Lea’s spring and summer CSA is in full swing, offering weekly bags of food to customers. Assistant Farm Manager Ellie Schertz prepares the deliveries every Tuesday. Chickens, salad greens and vigorous bunches of lovage are in this week’s goodie bags. Lovage is a celery-like herb used in salads and soups. It will go well with the chicken, Ellie says.

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The Merry Lea Mission

  • Providing a natural sanctuary for northern Indiana’s plants and animals
  • Providing environmental education for people of all ages
  • Providing a setting for re-creating opportunities that benefit the human body and spirit while not exploiting the land or excessively disturbing its ecosystems
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