MONMOUTH, Illinois – A group of Monmouth College students have found a way to live healthier life. They’re starting at the roots by skipping the grocery store and growing their own food.
“This is a lifestyle and I want to continue this type of lifestyle,” says Allison Razor, a student at Monmouth College.
She, along with four other students, live a healthier life than most.
“I didn`t have much gardening experience before, but I do now,” says roommate Connor Shields.
They’re part of Monmouth College’s Educational Garden project.
“One of our goals of developing this was to try to see among other things for ourselves, to educate, but also for the community to see what would be possible,” says Professor Craig Watson, who came up with the idea.
The students all live together in a house on campus and they grow the food in their backyard. It is filled with vegetables, fruit trees, and even some bee hives.
“Last year we got four and a half gallons of honey. We still have a bunch of that that we’re eating,” says Will Terrill, who also lives at the house.
Professor Watson says the students live off what they produce, “They`ve taken a very seriously challenge of living in this house to live off the land as much as possible.”
It takes a lot of hard work to maintain the garden and the students only use the best ingredients for their plants.
“We try and use rain water as much as possible so we collect it into a 550 gallon rain barrel and then we pump it using solar power to a high point and use gravity to feed the plants,” says Terrill.
Although it’s a lot of work, at the end of the day the students say it’s worth it, “It`s just a frenzy of people working together and then it all ends in a nice meal,” says Shields.
The group has also received federal grants for the needed space and supplies. They recently acquired six new acres to grow on and they’re expecting to obtain even more in the future.