The Farm was established in May 2003, when the Project’s first group of student interns cleared dying hemlock trees, poison ivy, shrubs, and weeds from a forgotten corner of Farnam Gardens. Today, it is a lush, productive, organic farm that produces hundreds of varieties of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. In growing, distributing, and eating this bounty, volunteers learn about sustainability first hand. The Yale Farm seeks to model focused, efficient, and sustainable practices that are economically viable and ecologically sound. It produces beautiful, abundant, and delicious food while engaging in agricultural practices that can be continued indefinitely without causing degradation to the biological systems on which they rely.
The Yale Farm provides a place where students, faculty, staff, and New Haven community members can come together to learn about the connection between land and food. The Farm, a 15-minute walk north of the Old Campus, hosts workshops, seminars, volunteer workdays, and tours for local schools. Working in this four-season market garden teaches the principles of sustainability and the practices of sustainable agriculture.
Throughout the school year, the Farm hosts weekly volunteer workdays from 1:00pm to 5:00pm on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays; in the spring and fall, we end the day with pizza from our hearth oven on Fridays. Yale professors from several departments use the Farm as a resource in their coursework, and teachers from New Haven schools bring their classes to the farm for lessons in ecology, science, and food production. Each summer, six undergraduate interns spend their summer working the land and learning about the connections among sustainability, food and agriculture. And every spring and autumn, new students gather around the hearth oven to share pizza during Bulldog Days and before leaving on pre-orientation trips in the fall.
Crops are grown throughout the year; hardy greens spend the winter months in unheated greenhouses. The harvest is given to volunteers, cooked on-site, donated to hunger relief partners in the community or sold to local restaurants or at CitySeed’s Wooster Square Farmers’ Market.