Case Study: Loyola University Chicago

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Loyola University Chicago is a Jesuit institution that promotes caring for others, caring for one’s self, and caring for the community. It is one of Loyola’s foundational aspect of caring for the community that has made the requirement of engaged learning a part of the curriculum. Since the Fall of 2012, Loyola has required its students to go out into the world and obtain hands-on experience in different sorts of fields. One may accomplish this through an internship course, or a class combined with an engaged learning component. The purpose of engaged learning is to provide real-world, hands on experience that helps the student relate their subject material to life, and gain a more in-depth knowledge of the subject at hand. Thus, Loyola hopes …show more content…
I went to the Talking Farm on November 19th for six hours. Over my hours I engaged in numerous activities. My first task centered around helping set up hoop houses for the winter. These structures are a cost effective way to help extend the growing season, which allows the farm to plant crops earlier, and grow them later into the year. Hoop houses have metal circular structures with 4ml plastic that covers the skeleton of the structure. During the winter, these hoop houses are closed off to allow sunlight to penetrate the structure, and keep the plants inside warm. Due to the impending winter season, I was tasked to help put up these structures. The Talking Farm currently has one hoop house, and are in the process of adding a second for their growing farm. I helped to screw in bolts to the structure and put up the semicircular skeleton of the structure. After the setup of the hoop house, I helped in the edible forest. The edible forest is a project of the Talking Farm’s. As a supervisor explained to us, the Talking Farm is unique in that its soil was not contaminated. While many other areas around have toxic soil, the area of the Talking Farm is clean. The whole area used to be a horse ranch. Thus, the farm is working on planting more and growing on its grounds. One area is in the edible forest. My task was to bring wheelbarrows full of woodchips to the ground, and spread them to help nourish the ground. Later in the day, the supervisor showed my group where a natural lake ran across the area. We were to dig out the basic shape of the lake, and clear old woodchips that had been piled in the area. Overall, the work at the Talking Farm contributed to sustainability. As with Urban Agriculture, the Talking Farm grows their food in a sustainable manner. In addition, the Talking Farm’s project of the edible forest, and the planting of new flora, helps contribute to environmental

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