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Colorado State donates fresh produce to local Food Bank

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Beneath Clark B, the leafy, green chard plants growing will make a meal for a family in need. (Photo credit: Dina Alibrahim Fike)

Perhaps CSU students have noticed the chard growing underneath Clark B this year. It’s planted there not just for aesthetic appeal, but also to feed families in need.

It was planted by CSU horticulturist Laura Ford Huber. She likes to have multiple uses in her landscape designs.

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Using this leafy green vegetable in the landscape added texture against the bananas to soften up the concrete surroundings,” Huber said. “Before the first hard frost, we will cut back and donate it to the local Larimer County Food Bank.”

There is also basil and sage planted among the foliage around campus that will be donated, according to Huber.

Huber said it is easy to mix vegetables in with design — that way it serves more than one purpose. She also believes it is a nice way to tie in CSU’s roots as an agricultural school.

According to Susan Kelly, food resource manager at the Food Bank, CSU donates lots of food to the Food Bank. Most of the donated produce comes from the CSU CSA (community supplied agriculture) horticulture farm.

“There’s a big focus on nutrition here,” Kelly said. “We work to make sure there is a good supply of fruits and vegetables year round. CSU is a great donor.”

They also pick up surplus prepared food from the dining hall twice a week.

Leila Grazes, assistant professor of specialty crops in the horticulture department, worked on the small crew that planted the CSA produce last May. The crew that works on the CSA is made up of horticulture students, paid employees, interns and volunteers.

“Members (of the CSA) pay ahead of time for their produce and what is left over is donated to the Food Bank,” Grazes said.

According to Grazes, CSA members need to be affiliated with CSU, whether they are students, faculty, staff or alumni.

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“So far, the CSA donated 356 pounds to the Food Bank this year,” Kelly said.

That number does not include the chard, basil and sage that is grown directly on campus, which will soon be donated.

Collegian Staff Reporter Dina Alibrahim Fike can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @dnalibrahim.

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