Ever wondered why on your drives to the Clemson Memorial Stadium you pass by a gigantic field of sunflowers? Well, thank the Clemson University Organic Farm! Started in 2001 as a project under the Sustainable Agriculture program, the founding principle of the garden was finding new and exciting crops to grow in South Carolinian soil. Over 40% of upstate farmland is fallow and the South Carolinian climate is getting harsher and more arid every year. Therefore, a farming project dedicated to figuring out new crops and markets for farmers to try out is integral to the future of our agriculture! The farm was certified organic in 2005. While at first the 14 acres were reserved for experimentation with legumes and wheat varieties, soon students were brought in to make the farm a thriving supplier to farmer’s markets, both on-campus and off. This works in conjunction with Feed and Seed, a Greenville-based nonprofit focused on introducing and providing fruits and vegetables to 400 families across 4 schools through 2021. That isn’t to say it doesn’t continue to experiment with beans and grains, of course. A recent $150,000 grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to the Organic Farm is dedicated to observing how the planting of lentils can enrich the nutrition of nearby foods, which could help with food insecurity and malnutrition! These kinds of programs led to it being rated #16 of the Best College-Run Sustainable Farms by College Values Online, as well as being ranked 9th among the 20 Best College Farms by Best College Reviews in 2015. If you’re a student interested in the Clemson University Organic Farm, there are a variety of courses taught on site, as well as many opportunities to conduct research projects. They could also come on as a student worker! These students seize the reins of advertising, harvesting, and selling, and all the revenue for their hard work goes back to them, the farm staff, and farm maintenance. If you’re not keen on getting down in the mud yourself, you can buy from the weekly market. Running from May through November, the market offers everything from flowers to raw honey. Why not grab a fresh cantaloupe and some sweet corn when you can?