The Outback Farm is located between the Fairhaven residence halls and Buchanan Towers. Photo by Erik Simkins/The AS Review

The Outback Farm is located between the Fairhaven residence halls and Buchanan Towers. Photo by Erik Simkins/The AS Review

Evan Marczynski/The AS Review

The AS board of directors recently approved a proposal allowing the Outback Farm to use extra money in their budget to build a new greenhouse that will replace one that was destroyed by windy weather a few months ago.

According to a request filed with the board on Feb. 5 by Matia Jones, coordinator for the Outback, there is around $3,800 left in the farm’s budget after the completion of four major renovations.

The leftover money will be used to construct a new greenhouse. In the request, Jones estimated the total cost of construction before laying a cement block foundation to be $3,495.
Jones said a greenhouse on the farm is vital to raising new seedlings for plants and vegetables. She added that a greenhouse helps the farm save on costs by starting plants themselves rather than purchase seedlings separately.

Jones was not surprised that the old greenhouse, which was built two years ago before she began working at the Outback, blew down during a particularly violent storm earlier this winter. She said it was basically broken from the moment it was built and the farm’s staff was constantly struggling to keep it stable.

“The whole thing was just incredibly rickety,” she said. “We were trying to limp it along.”

The new greenhouse will be built with a solid foundation and a more durable steel frame, which will help keep it stable during rough weather.

The Outback also maintains a second, supplementary greenhouse which will remain in use after the new one is built.

During winter quarter 2008 the Outback Farm was granted $11,000 by the board to construct a new greenhouse, tool shed, signage and a cedar bed project.

The Outback was made a part of the AS in 2006. During the 2008-09 school year, 822 people participated in projects or events at the Outback, according to an assessment released by the farm, which is a significant increase from the previous two years combined when there were 375 participants in Outback events.

Aside from participants in specific events and projects, Jones added that during spring quarter 2009, more than 1,500 people used the Outback to grow food and plants.