Cows return to the Acadia campus
by Noiles, Jodie
Cows have come home to Acadia. For the first time since 1956 when the original Acadia Farm ceased operations, cows, pigs, horses and sheep will once again be a part of the Acadia University campus. The farm was a central feature at Acadia from 1893 until its closure providing milk and produce for the dining hall and an opportunity for students to earn money and engage in healthy exercise. It was such an important part of campus life that the Athenaeum declared in 1900 that “it was difficult to tell whether the principal business conducted on campus was farming or education”.
As part of the new Acadia Community Farm started by students in 2008 livestock will be incorporated into the education program to teach students about Annapolis Valley agricultural heritage, sustainable farming practices and local food systems. The animals will feature in a new hands-on learning module in the new spring intersession course on Sustainable Food Systems and Community Development. A flock of sheep on loan from a local organic farm and supervised by the Acadia Director of Facilities will have a dual role on campus, joining the grounds crew to help with the sustainable grounds management program. Sheep have been shown in several studies to reduce invasive species, help with weed control and lawn maintenance.
A new barn will be built adjacent to the farm behind the Acadia Athletics Complex with recently announced funding for university research and infrastructure in the federal budget.
Acadia is always looking for creative ways to further improve its sustainability performance as well as create learning opportunities for students using the campus as a living lab. To learn more about this and other initiatives visit sustainability.acadiau.ca. And on behalf of all of us at the Acadia Community Farm, Happy April Fool’s Day! Moo ;-)
To learn more about the real Acadia Community Farm, the history of the original farm on campus, and the spring course in Sustainable Food Systems visit http://sustainability.acadiau.ca/acadia-farm.html