Our Common Home Farms: A Helping Hand to the Community
Ailina Cunningham, Staff Writer
Our Common Home Farms is a project of Saint Martin’s University that specializes in creating quality produce with a wide variety of options, as well as selections that are commonly donated or offered up to people who need them. Volunteering at Our Common House Farms is a great way for students to explore volunteer and service opportunities.
Several Saint Martin’s faculty members support Our Common Home Farms, including Dean Jeffrey Crane, Ph.D., assistant professor William Stadler, and professor Julia Chavez. Our Common Home Farm is typically used as a learning opportunity for students to understand where food comes from and how it grows. The farms are sponsored by Saint Martin’s University, and partners locally with Pope John Paul II High School, and the Sacred Heart Parish.
The farm primarily offers its produce to shelters and soup kitchens to feed people who need it. The owners of Our Common Home Farms push the importance of the Benedictine values that are ingrained in the production of this food, such as stewardship and hospitality. The organization has been documented by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) for a segment labelled “Our Common Home Farms” on the show “Northwest Now Digital First.”
Crane is quoted in an article, stating, “we are trying to create excitement around food.” There are classes going on at Saint Martin’s, currently, that involve going to Our Common Home Farms for stewardship opportunities over the weekend. These classes encourage students to think about how they can contribute to their community through growing and donating healthy food to places that need it.
All of the food donated by the farm is given to pantries and organizations that use it to feed community members that are hungry or low income. These organizations include the Sacred Heart Emergency Outreach Food Pantry in Lacey, and St. Leo’s Food Connection in Tacoma.
Our Common Home Farms has more information including the hours for their food trailer, the story about the farm, and healthy recipes to use with their produce on their website. Visitors can sign up for the newsletter or check out their options for getting fresh produce on the organization’s website.