Front cover

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Copyright page

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pp. iv-iv

Contents

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pp. ix-x

List of Illustrations

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pp. xi-xii

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Foreword

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pp. xiii-xviii

The fact that books, documentaries, and journal articles about food and farming are becoming increasingly popular is one indication among many that a food revolution is emerging in our culture. Fields of Learning makes an important contribution to that body of art and literature. These stories provide valuable historical information about the creation...

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Preface

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pp. xix-xx

In the late summer of 2003, I began researching an article about student farms for NewFarm.org, the online magazine of organic and sustainable farming published by the Rodale Institute. I visited a couple of farms I’d heard about on campuses not too far away—Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and Cook College at Rutgers University...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xxi-xxii

This book has benefited from the input and support of numerous people. The Yale Agrarian Studies fellows of 2008–2009—Karen Hébert, Keely Maxwell, Alessandro Monsutti, and Nandini Sundar—commented on early versions of the book proposal and offered indispensable encouragement for the formulation of the project. Laura Lengnick, Suzanne Morse...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-28

The past decade has seen the revival of an old pedagogical idea: finding ways to combine liberal arts undergraduate education with hands-on, practical farming and gardening experience. Scores of largely student-motivated, student-run, on-campus farms and market gardens, ranging in size from less than an acre to dozens of acres, have been established...

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1. Berea College

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pp. 31-50

Berea College, one of several federally recognized work colleges, has one of the oldest continuously operating student educational farms in the United States. All students at Berea participate in a labor program in exchange for a full-tuition scholarship, the Berea College Farm being one of the larger employers on the campus. While the work that the more...

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2. Wilmington College

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pp. 51-68

The primary purpose of an academic farm at any college or university should be to enhance agricultural learning through demonstration and research. At a private liberal arts institution such as Wilmington College, the purposes of an academic farm are sometimes expanded to include revenue for the college, food for the dining halls, and, at times, a location...

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3. Sterling College

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pp. 69-85

A new Sterling College student may arrive in September having never really thought about how food makes it to a plate. By the time she leaves Sterling, however, she will undoubtedly have harvested potatoes behind a team of horses; she will have washed carrots for the kitchen in a bicycle-powered carrot washer; she will have hauled buckets of food waste...

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4. Evergreen State College

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pp. 89-108

The organic farm at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, came into existence during an era of change. The decades of the 1960s and 1970s raised many questions, among them one about the safety and sustainability of industrial agriculture. In 1972, inspired by the back-to-the-land movement, faculty and students founded the Evergreen State College...

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5. University of Oregon

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pp. 109-128

The Urban Farm has been both a class and a place at the University of Oregon since 1976. The farm itself is a one-and-a-half-acre plot of land on the north edge of campus. The Urban Farm class is a four-credit course offered through the Department of Landscape Architecture but open to all university students. The farm’s goals are to teach students...

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6. University of California, Davis

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pp. 129-148

It’s 10:30 on a Thursday morning in April, and the sun is starting to get pleasantly hot on the students’ backs as they dig, cut, and bunch more than a dozen kinds of organic vegetables for the Market Garden’s community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. Those students who helped with the harvests that supplied fresh produce to the student-run Coffee House...

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7. Hampshire College

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pp. 149-170

Most people today don’t think of Massachusetts as an agricultural state. How quickly we forget that once it was a breadbasket, shipping tons of foodstuffs back to England. The Connecticut River valley flowed with waving wheat until the Hessian fly put an end to it at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The wool business—gone by 1830—was enormous on...

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8. University of Maine

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pp. 173-191

The first ceremonial spadeful of soil was turned over in Field F, belonging to the Black Bear Food Guild (BBFG), in the spring of 1995. The hand-dug field had symbolic importance to the first members of the guild. It represented their commitment to respect the needs of the land in their venture to learn how to farm sustainably. Field F, one of six fields they were...

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9. Central Carolina Community College

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pp. 192-208

Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) is a three-county college with its main campus in Lee County, North Carolina. The Sustainable Agriculture Program—which in the fall of 2009 enrolled sixty-four full-and part-time students—is located on the Chatham County campus in Pittsboro, the county seat. Pittsboro is just fifteen miles south...

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10. Prescott College

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pp. 209-226

Prescott College is a small liberal arts college situated in the highlands of central Arizona, where ponderosa forests converge with chaparral scrub and desert grasslands. The college is known for its experiential pedagogies and for its dedication to the environment and social justice. Founded in 1966, Prescott has grown to serve a residential undergraduate student...

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11. University of Montana

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pp. 227-245

“I don’t know much, but I know this: six months from now you’ll wish you were here.” Damian Parr’s thick New York City brogue was the last voice in the closing circle of the 1991 season at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz), Farm and Garden. The ring of thirty-five or so grubby, all-age student farmers stayed quiet, eyes fixed back on Damian...

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12. University of British Columbia

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pp. 249-268

When the founders of the University of British Columbia (UBC) articulated the need for a university farm in 1910, their decision was based on simple math. Situated among more than 1 million acres of soils “as good as can be found in the world,” on the doorstep of the rapidly growing port city of Vancouver, the commissioners assigned to find the best site for the...

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13. New Mexico State University

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pp. 269-288

The seeds were planted in the field, but nothing was ready to harvest yet. Without a well-developed class schedule, we had time to spare that day in early February 2002. I spaced the letters that spell OASIS across the top of the blackboard, and students began brainstorming words that began with each letter as I wrote them vertically underneath. Students...

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14. Michigan State University

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pp. 289-305

How do you tell the story? From what perspective? With which facts? How much from the head, and how much from the heart? Is it a narrative grounded in the academic literature, or is it rather a story about place, people, process, and transformational change? The history of the Michigan State University Student Organic Farm (MSU SOF) can be told in many...

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15. Yale University

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pp. 306-322

The Yale Sustainable Food Project is a one-acre organic market garden, a collaboration with Yale Dining Services to bring local, seasonal, and sustainable food into Yale’s dining halls, and a set of extracurricular and academic programs related to food, agriculture, and the environment. Located at one of the nation’s tweediest, brainiest institutions...

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Conclusion

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pp. 323-331

So you want to start a student farm? Maybe you’re a student or a recent graduate, maybe you’re a tenured faculty member, maybe you have a staff position linked to a newly established campus sustainability initiative. Individuals in all of these situations have started student farms, including several of those described in these pages. One of the themes...

Appendix

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pp. 333-340

Further Reading

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pp. 341-343

Contributors

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pp. 345-349

Index

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pp. 351-354