The newly naked trees, the crisp nip in the air, and the prevailing hope for snow don’t exactly bring to mind planting and harvesting; yet, the CC Farm would like to keep serving the CC community long into the winter months.
“The biggest issue that the farm faces is that it is usually dormant in the winter,” said Zac Chapman, one of the three CC farm interns.
However, this year’s interns, seniors Chapman and Mel Yemma, and sophomore Sarah Hamilton, want to sustain the farm through the winter by constructing cold frames, or plastic hoop houses made from PVC plastic and greenhouse film, under which hearty plants such as kale, spinach, and Swiss chard could thrive even as temperatures drop.
“Constructing these hoop houses would allow us to experiment with harvesting throughout the cold seasons” Chapman said. “In addition to this, the project would also keep students engaged and psyched on working towards a localized CC food system.”
Building a greenhouse, a project that has been years in the making, may also happen later this year. Because the CC Farm has been put under the umbrella of Outdoor Education and has become part of the Sustainability Office, more funding is available to support big projects such as the construction of a greenhouse.
“It’s been a long time coming, but I think that with the school’s new sustainable initiatives, it could likely be a possibility in the coming year,” Chapman said.
The CC Farm is a 1.3-acre organic garden located at 1228 Wood Avenue, behind the Stewart House, and just off of the Monument Creek. It grows all kinds of vegetables and, during the summer, raises chickens.
Bon Appetit buys much of the produce from the CC Farm, which allows CC students to enjoy the fruits of their labor, as well as helps CC become more sustainable by buying local food. Passionate about keeping students healthy and the campus green, the farm interns have big dreams for the future of the farm.
“I have the vision of the backyard of the Stewart House being converted into a free-range field for chickens and pigs. The notion of CC partially supplying its own meat sounds rather far off, and would probably require a major insurrection rather than a sustainability council, but we can always dream,” Chapman explained.
Yemma emphasized the importance of community at the farm–people are welcome to come down to pick produce, lounge in the hammocks, or use the cob oven anytime.
“The farm is for everyone,” Yemma said. “We are hoping to draw in different groups of people.”
Managed by the CC Farm Club, the farm hosts work days where volunteers are asked to come help with the daily grind of running a farm as well as larger community events that showcase what the farm has to offer.
“[The] farm club will hopefully be hosting some cool events during the winter that anyone can get involved in,” Hamilton said. “There’s also a lot of room for creativity and initiative— if someone has an idea for a project, event, etc., the farm is a canvas to which any CC student can contribute.”
After the successful Harvest Banquet, a classy affair that occurred at the Stewart House last block, the interns have decided to host another farm gathering to take place this Friday, Nov. 16.
Students are cordially invited to attend the farm’s ‘darty’ (day party) from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., where there will be hot drinks and pizza made right on the farm’s cob oven. Bluegrass musicians from Lyons, as well as members of the Bluegrass Ensemble, will provide ample musical entertainment. Yemma also mentioned the possibility of a pie-making contest in which contestants will be judged on the tastiness and creativity of their best homemade pie.
Yemma expressed hope that this event will bring various students down to the farm one last time before the onset of winter. Students interested in helping out with the farm should look into joining the CC Farm Club or contact Yemma by e-mail.
Active Life Editor