You can’t grow food without land. Securing space is the first step toward building your growing venture.

You may want to file this under “Obvious, Stating The,” but in order to start your campus farm, you need access to some land. If your campus has a Facilities Department, start there. Facilities managers usually know what land is open, if it’s earmarked for any particular use or new construction, and whether there’s access to water and/or power.

Keep in mind important questions about transportation to and from your space and general safety. Is your space in the middle of the quad or off campus? Can volunteers easily access the farm? What kinds of animals might find a nice afternoon snack in your tomatoes and swiss chard, and will you need to build a fence?

Once you’ve found land that meets your requirements – sun, water, clean soil, no immediate plans for development – you can go ahead and seek permission to start growing food.