Eco Plot

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.

The New Tire Gardener - Novel Raised Bed and Garden Planter Options Using Scrap Tires.Repurposing tires to support crop production is environmentally friendly. What can be more rewarding than transforming a waste product into growing systems that foster environmental sustainability, enhance quality of life and generate wealth?

This publication (.pdf / 55MB) represents 25 years of research, development and demonstrating new and novel ways scrap tires can be used to grow specialty crops.

The build-your-own construction guides contained in this resource represent the best of the planter and raised bed designs developed at the Noble Research Institute. Each of these guides were originally released as separate publications. The New Tire Gardener is a compilation of the guides, two of which have been extensively revised since first being released.

~Steve Upson

Learning Outdoors

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.

Students working with raising chickens in the hoop house

Chickens to raise.

Two female students selling radishes at the local farmer's market.

Erin and Jade selling radishes at the Lamoni Farmer's market.

Interior of the hoop house with growing vegetables.

The vision for the Eco Plot includes multiple hoop houses, expansion of the orchard, a beehive and a chicken coop.

Anaheim peppers on sale in the local grocer's produce section.

Graceland grown Anaheim peppers sold at the local Hy-Vee.

Rain Garden

The campus rain garden located west of Resch Science and Technology Hall.

Shadow of cyclist on the local bike trail through a canopy of trees

The Eco Plot is located along the Lamoni Bike Trail.