Warren Wilson Nurtures Partnership with Root Cause Farm


Special to the Echo

Professor Matt Hoffman volunteering at Root Cause Farm.

Root Cause Farm (RCF), formally known as The Lord’s Acre, partnered with Warren Wilson College (WWC), gives students an opportunity to work within the realm of food security. As a non-profit organization, RCF grows food for the emergency food system and works with partners to distribute it to the surrounding communities. 

“A part of our mission is to be a community solution for hunger and in order to be that solution, we have to do the hard work of understanding the root causes,” said Ali Stone, programs manager at RCF.   

Stone began as an intern with RCF, wanting to learn more about the food system, its relation to poverty, and what it means to be food independent. 

Through her work, Stone sees the interplay of RCF’s core values, including but not limited to equity, intentionality, humility, inclusion and gratefulness in learning and teaching about the food system. 

The values of inclusion and diversity are important to RCF, and they work hard to provide a space where folks feel welcome and physical needs are accommodated, according to Matt Hoffman, professor of religious studies and Associate Director for Interfaith Initiatives at WWC.  

“They try to be responsive to the needs of the community,” said Hoffman in regards to RCF growing different foods to meet the needs of their community members. 

Hoffman started working with RCF in 2016 and has developed a strong partnership with them through his numerous service-learning classes. For students, RCF serves as a place for deeper engagement with communities outside of WWC and for deeper engagement with classroom material, according to Hoffman. 

“It’s the outside moments that make the teaching in class deeper,” said Hoffman. 

Students continue to go back to RCF and work hands-to-earth with other volunteers, according to Hoffman. 

“It wasn’t just random farm work; it was working with intention,” said Sasha Jacobo, a recent WWC graduate who interned with RCF this past summer. 

RCF provides an important service through growing local food for donation and being a nature space that people can access and be a part of, according to Jacobo. 

For more information, follow this link: https://rootcausefarm.org/