Since March, a Walsh team from the Food Design Institute, led by Professor Jennifer Vokoun, Dr. Brad Beach, Dr. Ron Scott and Michael Cinson and with the research assistance of students Victoria Muhlbach, Lindsey Craft, and Alan Miller have been tending to the Walsh Campus Farm and Community Garden located at Hoover Park.

Through their hard work and “green thumb” efforts, the farm has contributed more than 250 pounds of produce donated to local organizations including North Canton Church of Christ, Boys and Girls Club of Massillon, Good Samaritans Hunger Center in Akron, SAM Center in Massillon and the Salvation Army of Massillon. 

“This pandemic has highlighted the many disparities that exist in the food system,” said Professor Vokoun. “Creating an on-campus training farm for students and community will contribute to a stronger, healthier, more sustainable food system on campus and in the community.” 

Moving forward, the Walsh Campus Farm will become a living learning classroom, for students from all disciplines and community members to participate in project-based learning. This fall, freshmen enrolled in the required Cavalier Learning Network course Design Thinking, will learn about design thinking and food systems through active work on the farm and in the garden, and with community food partners. The Blouin Global Scholars will also utilize the space to develop proposals to strengthen water access, and address ways to make the farm more sustainable.