EKU’s Red Barn Garden and Orchard – a hands-on learning laboratory for horticulture students

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CONFERENCE: Posters-at-the-Capitol

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McKinney, Mary
conference paper description
The Red Barn Garden and Orchard (RBGO) is a five-acre fruit and vegetable garden on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky. RBGO began as a venue for students to apply classroom knowledge gained in the fruit and vegetable courses taught as part of the horticulture program. During the start-up year a kitchen garden, gourd tunnel and one acre of tomatoes, pumpkins, beans, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, onions, corn, and several cole crops were established. By the end of the second year an additional two acres were planted including a small fruit orchard consisting of apples, pears, peaches, plums, brambles, and blueberries. Students participate weekly in the community farmers’ market selling the student-grown produce alongside other local farmers. A farm to office program has been established where faculty and staff on campus can place orders online to have fruits and vegetables delivered directly to their offices. Research at the RBGO site, conducted by faculty and students, has initiated and the opportunities are increasing as the program continues to grow. RBGO has been designed as a recruiting tool and educational resource for the community with plans to host elementary school field trips, high school field days, and other seasonal outreach events.