About the Farm

HISTORY OF THE O FARM

The Dartmouth Organic Farm came from an idea planted by students in the late 1980’s as part of a class project. Students in the 1990’s nourished the idea into a fledgling organic garden that brought in its first harvest in 1996. 

 

Since then, the O Farm (as it is lovingly called by students) has grown into a hub for hands-on and interdisciplinary learning at Dartmouth. It is home to an educational working garden, faculty and student research, independent projects, labs and classes, a stunning landscape that serves as a backdrop for social events of all kinds, and an ecosystem that engages students in learning about sustainable food and energy systems. At the O Farm we build inclusive community around food, agriculture, and our unique landscape.

LOCATION & TRANSPORTATION

The O Farm is 3 miles north of the main Dartmouth campus, at 104 Lyme Road (Rt. 10) in Hanover. It is situated on conservation easement land, and our growing field abuts public-access walking trails along the Connecticut River. Our sugarbush, where we tap maple trees and run our syrup operation, is across the street and joins up with the Oak Hill trail network. 

 

We invite you to come to the O Farm anytime to enjoy our setting! We have benches down by the river which are perfect for picnicking or star gazing, as well as a barn and a covered pavilion that are shady spots to study or relax. The O Farm is a welcome “breath of fresh air” - a change of pace and scenery from the bustle of campus. 


The farm is accessible by personal vehicle, running/walking, biking, or the Advance Transit bus system (the brown route to the Kendal stop will get you about 1 mile away from the farm).

See you soon!

FOOD PRODUCTION

Each year the farm grows more than 4000 pounds of diverse organic produce, with over 60 varieties of vegetables, grains, and flowers. So where does the food we grow go? We use what we call our “Three-Thirds Growing Model”:

  • One third of the food we grow is used to generate revenue to support the program. We sell produce directly to students through a summer-term farm stand run by one of the dining halls, which provides farmer's market-style produce and other locally made products for students to purchase using their dining meal-plan. We also sell to the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge as well as directly to the dining halls on campus.  

  • One third of our produce is dedicated to serving our community. We have been donating produce through the "Moms in Recovery" program. This is a wellness and support program through Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center for new mothers working through opioid addiction. As a part of that wellness support, the O Farm provides a bag of veggies each week to all participants in the program, including recipe suggestions for easy incorporation into their diets. Currently, this partnership runs from July-October, but we hope to expand this program in the future to be able to provide more healthy produce year-round. We also donate a large quantity of produce through Willing Hands, a community non-profit that recovers food from farms, stores, and institutions and distributes it to organizations serving neighbors in need. They are doing an amazing job of feeding our community and reducing the amount of food that gets wasted. Additionally, we run a Community Harvest Share food accessibility program to provide bags of fresh produce to Dartmouth students facing food insecurity.   

  • The last third of our produce is used to feed “the hands that grew it,” providing nourishment for the farm community in on-farm events. Whether you are a volunteer or an intern, we want to make sure that the people who help grow our produce are also able enjoy that food in community with others. At the O Farm, we strive to build sustainable community around food through pizza oven dinners, cookouts, open houses, campfires, fermentation workshops, and more.

Our goal is to for our produce to have impact not only for those who eat it, but for our students too by creating meaningful hands-on experiences on the farm that connects them to our community, our foodshed, and our environment in a tangible way. This model has given the farm the flexibility to use food production as a teaching tool and to reach a wide range of audiences.

 

JOIN OUR INTERN TEAM

  • Applications for full-time SUMMER STUDENT FARM MANAGERS must be submitted by google form by 5pm on Wednesday, February 26th. Interviews will be scheduled as necessary. If you have any questions, please reach out to sustainable.dartmouth@dartmouth.edu.

  • We will also be hiring for part-time SUMMER INTERNS during spring term. Please check back in May for applications!

CURRENT OPENINGS

 

GET INVOLVED

JOIN THE FARM CLUB

FARM FIT

The Dartmouth Organic Farm hosts a PE class for students every spring! If you want to earn PE credit working outside, learning about food systems, and taking in vistas of the Connecticut River, then Farm Fit is the PE class for you! Sign-ups are available through the Outdoor Programs Office PE during course election period.

JOIN THE FARM CLUB

Our student-run Farm Club is not just about farming! The Farm Club organizes educational, social, and volunteer opportunities at the O Farm, on campus, and in the Upper Valley. Students participate in community service, delve into issues around the food system, engage in food justice and security efforts, value sharing knowledge and connecting people to the land, prepare and enjoy food together, and also love just hangin’ out. 

 

In addition to volunteers workdays (see below), the Farm Club hosts social events large and small, including pizza dinners, potlucks, educational workshops, bonfires, documentary viewings and discussions, as well as seasonal celebrations such as Brewhaha (spring), Farmaroo (summer), and Harfest (fall). 

 

The Farm Club is open to any and all who are interested in getting involved! No farming or gardening experience is required. We welcome you to join us for a meeting, volunteer day, or social event - and to invite your friends! We seek to affirm and create space for people of all identities in our Farm Club and at the O Farm.  

Farm Club meetings are on Zoom this year, typically Wednesdays from 3-4 pm EST (but not every week). Meeting ID: 99520451899. To find out more about the official Farm Club happenings each week, join our Dartmouth Organic Farmers listserv. For more informal and real-time communications, get on our Group Me. To receive invitations to register for workdays and other in-person opportunities, request membership to the Dartmouth Organic Farm on the Engage platform. 

WORKDAYS

Farm Club hosts 2-hour volunteer workdays at the farm several times a week in the spring, summer, and fall terms. The Farm Club offers different options for getting out to the farm - including a bike fleet for riding as a group together, the local Advance Transit bus system, and the farm van. 


Please check out this FAQ sheet to see how to sign up for a Farm Club workday, and what to expect when you come to the farm!

 

We also are happy to host a volunteer workday specifically for your group or organization. Feel free to email molly.c.mcbride@dartmouth.edu with further questions or to schedule a workday!

FARM FIT

The Dartmouth Organic Farm hosts a PE class for students every spring! If you want to earn PE credit working outside, learning about food systems, and taking in vistas of the Connecticut River, then Farm Fit is the PE class for you! Sign-ups are available through the Outdoor Programs Office PE during course election period.

BEEKEEPING

The O-Farm is home to three bee hives supported by graduate and undergraduate student volunteers, including members of the Dartmouth Beekeeping Association. The bees support plant pollination in the field and produce delicious, golden honey that we harvest each fall in an open-to-all event! During the late spring and summer we conduct weekly hive checks to examine the growth & health of colonies and learn about bee communication, reproduction, honey & wax production, and the impacts of climate change on this important insect. Look out for hive check days on our calendar or join our Dartmouth Organic Farmers listserv if you want to be looped in on workshops and volunteer opportunities connected to bee management.

SUGAR CREW

There has been a longstanding tradition of students making maple syrup from the sugar maple trees on the Dartmouth Organic Farm. At first, interested students tapped trees on an ad hoc basis as interest arose. Then, in 2005, students built a Sugar House and installed an evaporator to create a more permanent home for sugaring and to improve syrup production. In 2014, two students founded Sugar Crew, a March spring program during which 10-12 students make maple syrup, connect with the maple sugaring community, and use sugaring to learn about business, land conservation, ecology, and history over spring break. The group taps about 125 trees annually. The syrup is sold to students, faculty, and staff and used in farm programs and events. 

This year due to covid, we plan to modify our student participation in sugaring. Instead of our immersive Sugar Crew spring break program, we hope to run open workdays to the sugarbush during the end of winter term, spring break, and the beginning of spring term for students to participate in tapping trees, emptying sap buckets, and boiling sap! 

 

BOOK A TOUR OR VOLUNTEER SESSION! 

We offer tours for College organizations to learn more about what we do out here and what possibilities exist for using this space for your group. We are also happy to host volunteer workdays with your group as an opportunity to get your hands dirty and build community! 

 

Please reach out to molly.c.mcbride@dartmouth.edu with questions or to make arrangements!

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STAY CONNECTED

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QUICK LINKS

OPERATIONAL GOALS

Dartmouth Sustainability Office

Dartmouth College

Hinman Box 6182

Hanover, NH 03755

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