Worker planting crops at Star Route Farms

Star Route Farms

Serving the Jesuit Mission — and Students

Star Route Farms (SRF) became a part of USF in 2017. A self-sustaining organic farm, SRF is comprised of 40 acres of organically farmed land and 60 acres of mixed-woodland habitat, including riparian forest and a year-round stream, Pine Gulch Creek. The farm, land, creek, and associated out-buildings provide USF faculty, staff, and students an incredible opportunity to escape the urban landscape and participate in innovative learning experiences through courses, research, retreats, and workshops.

Pope Francis, a Jesuit, has embraced sustainability in a way no previous pope has. His 2015 publication, Laudato Si’, or Care for Our Common Home, charges us to care for earth as a mother or sister who needs our assistance in recovering from the damage we have inflicted upon her. Star Route Farms is one of many ways USF is helping students to save the world from here.

What's Happening at the Farm?

  • Classical Studies students did a comparative study of ancient and contemporary farming practices
  • Retreat goers used the farm's produce to create culinary delights — the farm regularly hosts workshops, team-building seminars, writing retreats, and small symposia
  • The Biology department's Pollination Biology class visited the farm to examine pollinator community diversity
  • Nature outings and experiential learning at the farm are now a regular part of the Environmental Studies program
  • Stream ecology and land ethics are among the many subjects studied on SRF grounds
  • Departments and colleges across the university have utilized the space — including Athletics, University Ministry, Philosophy, and all levels of staff and administration
  • Community Garden outreach has been extended by the addition of SRF to USF