Matt Brown, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
On a small, half-acre plot of land just south of Sonoma State University, energy student Jamal Edwards tills a row of black soil moistened from an early spring rain. Kneeling in the soft earth, he pulls weeds by hand and sows tomato and melon seeds. In a few months, the produce could end up in the salad bar at the SSU student center.
Edwards is part of a group of student farmers that sells its crops back to the school to help pay tuition. He is the recipient of an innovative grant to offset the cost of farming. For Edwards, the venture allows him to practice his passion while earning extra cash.
“If you don’t get your hands dirty once a day, you haven’t lived that day,” said Edwards, 23. “This gives me a sense of happiness that nothing else can bring.”