Campus Community Farm
A small organic farm a short walk from campus, the Campus Community Farm grows food for the dining hall, is the hub of composting efforts on campus, and provides a space for students, faculty, staff and community members to learn and practice gardening.
The Campus Community Farm provides a space where students, faculty, staff, and community members can interact with eachother and engage with agriculture. It has provided a consistent opportunity to learn about and move forward ideas and initiatives involving sustainable agriculture. It provides a small fraction of the food used in the dining hall, and is home to several other sustainability iniatives, including campus composting and the apiary.
The farm itself is our pride and joy, and has had a long-lasting community impact. From its start as a tiny garden club in 2005, it has consistently grown into over an acre of land with an on-site greenhouse (powered by a solar panel), chicken coop, and composting tumbler, and has become financially self-sufficient.
The Campus Community Farm started as, and remains, a club. Therefore, it exists by permission of the SGA and the continuing willingness of owners of the land which it is located to lease that property. In the early years of the farm, funding was provided by the SGA, the Environmental Studies Department, and the Sustainability Committee, but, in 2012, the farm cut financial ties to these organizations and became financially self-sufficient by selling produce to Bon Appetit, the campus dining service. As an independent entity, the farm is now well-established and is not tied up in bureaucracy.
MISTAKES & LESSONS LEARNED
The farm has a strategic plan (for the next 5 and 15 years) to expand the property and the existing initiatives, develop new initiatives, restore and replace aging buildings and equipment, better integrate the farm into the landscape by replacing invasive with native plants on the property and through permaculture, and increasing its funding. There also plans to develop a Farm Fellow position in order to ensure the longevity of the farm and the success of its planned initiatives.