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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Summer at Western’s Outback Farm

This years Outback staff after their first meeting to plan the upcoming events for the farms summer // Photo by Izzy Shelton-Smith

By. Izzy Shelton-Smith

Summer at The Outback is filled with community building activities, chicks, happy campers, fresh fruits and vegetables. 

The staff at The Outback met Monday, July 1 to decide what events, or “work parties” as the staff calls them, they are going to host this summer. Work parties at The Outback are when coordinators plan activities for the community to help with the farm at a specific time period. 

So far, the staff decided on three work parties but expect there to be more later in the summer. The Outback is always open to the community and students and there doesn’t need to be a work party to go in and enjoy the ripened plums and smaller berries. 

“There are people out here all the time,” Outback farm manager Terri Kempton said. “If there is anyone who is interested in volunteering or coming to pick some vegetables to take home, then they are welcome to come join us. It doesn’t have to be just work parties.”

The first work party that The Outback scheduled is “Weed Fest” which will happen  Wednesday, July 10 from 3-5 p.m. 

“A crew of volunteers come and help tackle all the weeds at once,” Rebecca Williams, the Associated Students Outback coordinator said. “All over the farm, particularly in our beds, where the vegetables are and then we are going to be mulching.” 

The next event The Outback has planned for the summer is a community garden gathering, which will be held on July 27 from 5-7 p.m. 

This event was described by the crew as more of a party with a potluck and a time for community gardeners to have the chance to meet each other, share gardening stories, swap seeds and hopefully make connections. 

“Everyone is invited, whether they have a community plot or not,” Kempton said. “We have 60 different plots that are held by students, staff, faculty, administration and people from the community outside of the Western family.” 

According to the staff, this event will encourage those who are interested in obtaining a plot in the community garden to learn more about it. 

The final event planned for the community is replanting the herb garden. Located in front of The Outback farm, the current herb garden is overgrown by other plants. 

AS Outback assistant coordinator Sage Fairman and AS forest garden & native habitats assistant coordinator Edward Johnson hope to clear up the overgrown herb garden. 

“[We want to] come up with a new plan of what herbs we want in there and have it be very intentional and invite other folks to come help with that,” Fairman said. 

Johnson said The Outback will provide seeds, but welcomes people to bring any plants that they think would be helpful in the herb garden. 

“The important thing about the farm is that it belongs to all students it’s part of campus. So we really encourage people to come through,” Kempton said. 



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