VERMILLION, S.D. -- Twelve students from the University of South Dakota recently traveled to Mission Hill, S.D., to work with Hebda Family Produce, a community-supported agriculture farm that practices sustainable farming techniques. The students performed a wide-range of activities from picking apples to digging potatoes – all while learning about sustainable farming, community supported agriculture, the process of becoming an Organic Certified Farm, and the ways that Hebda Family Produce works to become chemically free.
The students participated in this event on Saturday, Sept. 28 through the Alternative Week of Off-campus Learning (AWOL) student organization’s Alternative Weekend program. The Alternative Weekend program is dedicated toward providing students with short-term service-learning opportunities that focus on important local and regional issues. Each month a different Alternative Weekend takes place that provides an outlet for students to explore issues that are relevant to the Vermillion area and helps build a closer connection between students and the community.
Hebda Family Produce began in 2002 when the family’s eldest son entered vegetables grown from his backyard into the Bon Homme County Fair. Today, it is a full-scale, family-run business. Comprised of a 55-acre orchard, the farm is a berry farm, and an apple shed which is used to sort more than 10 different varieties of apples. Hebda’s Family Produce utilizes sustainable practices and works consistently to maintain their products to remain as chemically free as possible.