Dining Services Farm 2016 Annual Report
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The Dining Services Farm (DSF) is a collaboration between Virginia Tech Dining Services, The Department of Horticulture, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). The DSF began in 2009 as a small garden at Kentland Research Farm to provide experiential learning opportunities for students in the Civic Agriculture and Food Systems Minor and grow fresh produce for Dining Services. The mission of the DSF is to promote sustainable agriculture and community food systems by serving as a resource for education, research, and outreach for Virginia Tech and the Blacksburg community. 2015 marked the DSF’s 7th year as an educational farm-to-campus program providing hands-on exposure to sustainable food and agriculture in the field, the classroom, and the dining hall. The DSF continues to evolve and grow to produce crops more efficiently and create a functional and safe environment for working, teaching, and outreach. An additional 1.25 acres were brought under the management of the DSF in the summer of 2016, and new tractor-drawn implements assist with mechanical weed control and harvesting. Improvements to the washing and packing shed streamline post-harvest handling and orient the farm operation towards the successful completion of a Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) food safety audit in the near future...