What do sociology and psychology have in common with chickens and zucchini? According to Kristie Kellis, Globe University-Minneapolis general education instructor, everything! Inspired by teaching students about social change, environmental issues and health and wellness, Kristie started a farm in her suburban backyard nine years ago.
The urban farm, “Lost Boys Acre,” named after Peter Pan, occupies roughly a quarter of an acre of her New Brighton backyard and can produce up to 12,000 pounds of fruit and 22,000 pounds of veggies per year feeding volunteers, neighbors and students. She and the Lost Boys crew also protect and raise endangered species of poultry, chickens, quail, ducks and turkeys by hatching out breeding stock for metro FFA. The farm specializes in smallest breed of chicken in the world, called a Serama. They produce enough eggs to make roughly 5,000 omelets a year!
Lost Boys Acre is an educational, all volunteer-run farm. Rather than grow for profit, the farm’s mission is to educate and inspire others to become healthier and environmentally sustainable. Each summer, Lost Boys Acre runs a barter CSA where volunteers are able to feed their families farm fresh food in exchange for a few farm work hours weekly. The farm regularly offers other volunteer opportunities, workshops, internships and service learning projects. You can learn more about Lost Boys on their Facebook page.
The idea of urban agriculture is unorthodox, much like her classes, but Kristie says that, “The greatest life lessons I have learned are from my students. In teaching them about the world and about themselves, I am constantly awed and inspired by them. I founded Lost Boys as a way to walk my talk and to become a model of the change I hope they will bring to the world.”
This is one way an amazing Globe University instructor educates her students on the importance of environmental issues, while also making a huge impact on the community.