About the Loyola Farm
Welcome to the Loyola Farm at Loyola’s Retreat and Ecology Campus in beautiful Woodstock, Illinois! Here you will find updates on gardening classes, our plant sale, the re-opening of our farm stand and other exciting happenings. Please check back frequently for new updates and important information.
The Loyola Farm has been operating for five years and has experienced much growth over last couple of years. With the addition of a new Farm Operations Manager, Emily Zack, and the assistance of a few dedicated student employees, the Loyola Farm is in full throttle toward becoming a sustainable food operation. This year, the farm employees worked extremely hard to get as much fresh, organic produce into the LUREC kitchen as possible. The produce is picked, processed and fed to our guests almost immediately, feeding at least one meal to nearly 5,000 people since March. The total amount of produce harvested at the campus for 2014 is 9,365 pounds of fruit and vegetables, a new record!
Sustainable Food Operation
The Loyola farm strives to be a sustainable food operation and works in conjunction with the LUREC kitchen to ensure maximum productivity. Some key factors in having a sustainable food operation include preserving for winter, composting, eating seasonally, and year-round production. The LUREC greenhouse contains winter lettuce, arugula, beets, radishes and spinach while the hoop house has cold weather veggies planted: carrots, parsnips and leeks. Our goal is to continue to increase efficiencies and be near a 100% sustainable food operation.
Meet Emily Zack, LUREC Farm Operations Manager
Emily Zack was hired as the LUREC Farm Operations Manager in March of 2014 and has already set some new records on the amount of produce harvested in a single year. With over 10 years of professional experience as a gardener and vegetable grower, Emily has been working in a home garden her entire life. Her recent work experience includes working on a Woodstock farm that had a community supported agriculture program and sold at the farmers market to growing vegetables for Duke’s Alehouse in Crystal Lake then running the non-profit Smart Farm out of Barrington. At Smart Farm Emily taught classes and led volunteers to send 100% of the produce grown to area food pantries. Emily is excited to be working at Loyola University Chicago and looks forward to creating a sustainable food operation at the Retreat and Ecology Campus, a dream come true for her.
Upcoming Events & Classes
Saturday, March 7, 2015; Times TBD
Join Emily Zack at the LUREC campus as she discusses how to start plants from seed at home. Growing from seed opens up a world of heirloom and specialty crops that aren’t commercially available as transplants. She will lead you through this easier-then-you-thought process.
Saturday, April 11, 2015; Times TBD
Join Farm Operations Manager, Emily Zack, in our Gardening 101 class. If you have always wanted a home garden but didn’t know where to start, this is the class for you. From garden planning, insect identification and space saving secrets, she will go over it all.
Sunday, May 17, 2015; Times TBD
Join us for our second annual organic and non-GMO plant sale. All the vegetable seedlings are grown at the Woodstock campus and will include heirloom tomatoes, specialty herbs, hot peppers and everything else you need to complete your home garden. The gardens are also open that day to tour.
LUREC Farm Stand
Back by popular demand, the LUREC farm stand will be opening in spring 2015 and will take place at the Woodstock campus on Fridays from 3:00 to 6:30 p.m. Homegrown, organic vegetables plus artisan breads baked in the kitchen will be available. Check back for specific dates.
If you have any questions, would like to get a tour of the grounds, or are interested in volunteer opportunities please contact Emily Zack at email@example.com or 815.338.1032.