College Of Idaho Class Brings Life Back To Basics

Ann McClure's picture

In a scene more akin to "Little House on the Prairie" than most visions of campus life, Rahul Sharma and Natasha Rooney feed chickens, wrangle rabbits and pull weeds as part of their college experience.

Their little house is a college-owned cottage on the outskirts of Caldwell's College of Idaho, and they're not frontier sodbusters. They're "sustainability stewards," the heart of an offbeat program entering its third year.

Chosen from about 10 applicants, the stewards get free housing in return for tending the campus organic garden, taking care of small farm critters, and figuring out how to make the house and their lifestyle as ecologically low-impact as possible.

"It's a lifestyle job," said Rooney, a history major from Melbourne, Australia, who will be a senior in the fall.

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