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This is Carleton's second annual Sustainable Spring Break trip. Our purpose is to experience firsthand some of the exciting work being done toward creating a sustainable future on the Great Plains. We will be visiting two organic farms, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and one buffalo ranch on our trip. Trip participants are junior Mark Luterra, French language associate Lucie Bravard, junior AJ Reiter, and freshman Jose de la Torre.

March 17: Earthrise Farm

March 22, 2006
By Lucie Bravard

We arrived at Earth Rise Farm on Friday at noon. Earth Rise Farm is a 240-acre organic farm that is part of the Center for Earth Spirituality and Rural Ministry, which is in turn a ministry of the School Sisters og Notre Dame. The farm is located near Madison, Minnesota, in the western part of the state. After arriving, we unpacked our bags and moved them into the farm's yurt (a sort of Mongolian circular mobile house). We then had lunch with the farm's manager, Sisters Kathleen and Annette Fernholz sisters of the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND).

After lunch we took a tour of the sisters' farm. The tour included a look into the farm's greenhouse. There we saw the various produce that the sisters are cultivating to plant in spring. The tour also included an explanation into how the various equipment was used around the farm.

Later that same day, we viewed the over two hundred organic chicks that are being raised to produce eggs. Late in the afternoon, we spent a few hours sprouting potatoes (removing the shoots that have started to grow so that the potatoes will keep longer). Potatoes that were too soft to eat were set aside to be used as seed potatoes for the next year's crop.

We also toured the farm's cannery and storage area, where the sisters can dozens of vegetables and some poultry.

At dinner, we discussed organic farming and numerous projects that could potentially be implemented in sustainable living.