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The GCH/EVST PEAS Farm

About
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Photo by Chad Harder

The Program in Ecological Agriculture and Society (PEAS) Farm is the hub of many of Garden City Harvest’s programs and at 10 acres, it is our largest neighborhood farm.  Located at 3010 Duncan Drive, in the Rattlesnake valley, PEAS is a partnership between Garden City Harvest and the University of Montana Environmental Studies Program (EVST).

Since its inception in 1996, the Program in Ecological Agriculture and Society has combined traditional academics with hands-on work at an urban, organic farm.  Each growing season, PEAS produces tens of thousands of pounds of fruits and vegetables for the Missoula Food Bank to distribute to low-income households. The PEAS internship - available for both undergraduate and graduate credit - is offered fall, summer, and spring. Follow the PEAS Internship link for more information on the seasonal variations of the program.

Happenings at the farm – it’s a hub for many things:

CSA Share Program

Whole share - $500 -

For 18 weeks you will receive a share of locally grown vegetables (a full share is more than 350 pounds, and an average cost of $1.50 per pound). Pick up the vegetables once a week at the PEAS Farm - meet your farmers while you're at it, from the Youth Harvest teens to the U of M students to Josh and Ethan.

Flower Share - $40

When flowers begin to bloom on the farm (later than when many of the vegetables come in), you will receve a bouquet of flowers to take home with your vegetable share.  The PEAS Farm grows many varieties including cosmos, dahlias, pin cushions, and more.

Pick up times are 4:30 to 6:30 pm on Mondays or Thursdays starting in June

History

Josh Slotnick, PEAS Farm Director and University of Montana professor, worked with students and community partners to start the farm on University land at Fort Missoula in 1998.  In 2001, the farm moved to the Rattlesnake site and grew the first crops there in summer of 2002.

The site now includes a straw bale barn, greenhouse, shed, office, chicken coop, pig pen, orchard, parking lot, and play area.  The tractors run on biodiesel and much of the electricity comes from a solar array.  The community has built the farm through generous donations of money, time, labor and materials. 

Community Partnerships

The University of Montana Environmental Studies Program started the PEAS Program in 1996, and continues to fund the instructor, recruit students, and make the program an integral part of the EVST curriculum.

Community Members: Garden City Harvest manages the farm and Community Supported Agriculture program. CSA members buy seasonal shares of the farm's produce, which helps to fund some basic farm operating costs.  GCH raises funds and manages other programs that flourish on the farm -  the Community Education Program and Youth Harvest.

The Missoula Food Bank distributes the farm's high quality food to Missoulians in need.

Local government also plays a role.  The farm is sub-leased from the City of Missoula, which leases the land from Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS).  MCPS is a key partner in the success of Community Education Program farm field trips.