Merry Lea Farm Blog

Stephan Powless trimming goat hooves

ASI 2018: Meet Stephan Powless

What do you do when the things you were really good at are no longer who you are? This is the question that brought Stephan Powless, Lagro, Ind., to Goshen College. Unlike most undergraduates, Stephan is a 32-year-old father of three with an eight-year career in the military behind him.

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ASI 2018: Meet Hannah Wheeler

Agriculture has always been a part of Hannah Wheeler’s life. Hannah grew up on a 40-acre family hobby farm in Hudson, Mich., where the high school mascot is a longhorn steer. She has fond memories of exhibiting market steers at the local county fair and helping her family grow their own meat and vegetables.

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ASI 2018: Meet Gabe Miller

Gabe Miller, a junior sustainable food systems major from Ithaca, New York, is a student who thrives at the intersection of big ideas and hands on learning. A conversation with Gabe zigzags between food sovereignty, human rights issues and the building of solar ovens.

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ASI 2018: Meet Ryan Miller

Ryan Miller has an ornery streak. He is not afraid to be a proud meat lover among vegetarians or the tractor enthusiast among market gardeners. He has a practical bent and a scrappy willingness to live with the tensions inherent in today’s farming landscape.

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ASI 2018: Meet Clayton Wassilak

Clayton Wassilak, a rising senior from Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill., is a man of many interests with the desire to tie them all together. The Agroecology Summer Intensive (ASI) at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College is helping him do that.

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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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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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