The Eco Plot is an acre of land that lies on the northeastern corner of the Graceland University Lamoni campus at the junction of Smith and Ackerly Streets. It is made up of the Persall Orchard and Gazebo, fruit and nut tree plantings, a 20' x 80' hoop house/high tunnel with raised beds, and an outdoor garden with raised beds. Produce grown on the Eco Plot is mainly distributed to our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) customers, and extra goes to the campus food service and Lamoni food pantry to eliminate food waste. There are plans to continue to develop the Eco Plot.
In the campus vegetable gardens, students learn to grow their own food — flora and fauna. Environmental Psychology classes have helped raise chickens (Jumbo Cornish X Rock, Barred Rock and Rhode Island Reds) in the hoop house during the spring. Students also learn what it means to actively engage with more sustainable production and consumption habits, experiencing how the produce they grow is used to feed their local community.
By taking students out of the traditional, indoor classroom space, they are able to realize the therapeutic benefits of being outdoors and gauge their personal tolerance for outdoor spaces. Students interact with one of the many ecosystems upon which they and the rest of the Graceland University community depend.