It’s finally time to get your hands dirty! Plan ahead to make sure you’re clear on exactly whose hands are getting dirty — Student volunteers? Paid interns? Class labs or field trips?

You’ve got the land, you’ve got your designs, now it’s time to get to work. Before you get too ambitious, though, think about your volunteer base. Starting and running a farm requires many hours of dedicated labor — especially during the summer. If there are only a few of you, it’s time reach out to fellow students before you plant five rows of tomatoes. Student groups concerned with food, the environment, and climate change may all want to pitch in. Link up with professors and/or departments at your university that share common interests with you. Hosting a big work day to break ground is a great way to notify your university community you are excited to grow food.

Breaking ground also means it’s tool time. If you don’t have the funds to stock a full shed, ask around: garden or farm neighbors, campus facilities departments, and community members will lend their supplies, especially for a big community work day.