Macalester Urban Land and Community Health (Macalester College)

Macalester Urban Land and Community Health (Macalester College)

Macalester College

Saint Paul, Minnesota

⅛ acre (approximately 5445 square feet)

Since 2001, students at Macalester College have run Macalester Urban Land and Community Health (MULCH), an on-campus student community garden, and later a chicken coop. The organization also puts on events and does outreach and education around sustainable food and agriculture.

MULCH produces a variety of fruits, and vegetables, including kale, lettuces, mint, tomatoes, squash, and a number of root vegetables. The harvest also include eggs, of course.

Sales and Distribution: Some of the produce from MULCH goes to feed the student volunteers who tend the garden, but most of the produce is sold to Bon Appetit chefs at Macalester. Eggs are left to the lucky chicken caretaker who collects them. Any produce left over is generally composted to enrich the soil for the following year.

Management structure: The student group meets during the academic year, and shares responsibility for the garden during group work days. The Chicken Leader takes care of organizing the chicken caretaker shifts, and a summer gardener tends the garden and organizes the chicken care.

Financial model: MULCH is supported by the profits generated from sales to their campus dining partners, with a yearly budget they are provided as student organization, and through the Sustainability Office, which employs the summer gardener.

Unique Features: MULCH gardeners are proud to house chickens in urban St. Paul, MN. Check out this video to see some of the history of how they were brought to campus: http://www.macalester.edu/news/2011/05/the-chickens-have-arrived/

Learn more: Please contact mulchgarden@gmail.com