Proper maintenance of structures, grounds and equipment is vital to the Farm’s operations. Appropriate cleaning techniques are used in all buildings to ensure they are safe and well kept.
The greenhouses’ glass requires cleaning as often as possible to improve light quality and prolong the structures’ longevity. Horticulture Farm staff cover the newest greenhouse and eight high tunnels with plastic and inspect it regularly for damage. The Farm team changes the plastic on the high tunnels about every five years. Eventually, the wooden frame parts on the high tunnels will degrade and need replacing. With grant funding, The Farm plans to make these updates to the high tunnels. These updates include new end walls, irrigation systems and automatic ventilation systems using solar power.
The Horticulture Farm team maintains the grounds’ appearance and function year-round by keeping grass mowed, weeds trimmed and clutter to a minimum. Students learn to use a zero-turn mower, weed eaters and chainsaws to perform maintenance tasks. Upkeep of equipment is also essential, including tractors, vehicles, mowers, chainsaws and weed eaters. Some students working on the Farm have prior training to perform maintenance and necessary repairs, while others train to fill this role. Students also clean and perform repairs on hand tools to prolong their usefulness.
Such essential maintenance offers many learning opportunities. Because the Horticulture Farm is so close to the center of campus, our team makes a conscientious effort to keep the area neat and orderly. We strive to make it attractive for the students, staff, faculty, community members and others who visit.