Hartland Natural Farm
WHEN YOU SEE the beautiful variety and taste the incredible quality of produce from Hartland Natural Farm, you might imagine it to have been grown by a seasoned farmer. However, this produce is grown and harvested by college students at the Hartland Institute, a Christian missionary college in Madison County. As part of the college’s core-curriculum, students operate a diversified year-round vegetable farm, mostly growing in high tunnels (unheated greenhouses) and following organic growing practices, allowing them to have a plentiful supply of fresh produce year-round.
The students not only grow crops for resale, but also to supply their own cafeteria. The student-run cafeteria and on-campus farm, managed by Armando Lopez, creates a unique connection among students to their food and how it was grown. The student farm operators get to experience a career in agriculture while completing their studies, enabling them to graduate with business, marketing, nutrition, and agriculture skills in addition to their missionary studies.