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 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.
Each year the farm grows more than 2000 pounds of diverse organic produce and flowers. Each year we grow 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.
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 email@example.com.
We will also be hiring for part-time SUMMER INTERNS during spring term. Please check back in May for applications!
JOIN THE FARM CLUB
Our student-run Farm Club organizes educational, social, and volunteer opportunities at the O Farm. Farm Club meets Wednesdays from 4:00-5:00pm in Hornig Library (in Fairchild). Farm Club hosts 2-hour volunteer workdays twice a week in the spring, summer, and fall terms, with rides provided from campus for each workday. In the fall, Farm Club also hosts farm stands outside Collis Friday afternoons.
The Farm Club is open to any and all who are interested in getting involved. We encourage newcomers to join us for a meeting, harvest day, or pizza dinner! The Organic Farm is a place that seeks to build inclusive community around food, agriculture, and our unique landscape. We seek to affirm and create space for people of all identities in our farm club and at the O Farm.
The Dartmouth Organic Farm hosts a PE class for students every spring, summer, and fall! If you want to earn PE credit working outside, learning about food systems, taking in the 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.
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 email Sustainable.Dartmouth@dartmouth.edu if you want to be looped in on workshops and volunteer opportunities connected to bee management.
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 spring break program during which students make maple syrup, connect with the maple sugaring community, and use sugaring to learn about business, land conservation, ecology, and history. The program, for 10-12 students, takes place each March. The group taps about 125 trees annually. The syrup is sold to students, faculty, and staff and used in farm programs and events.
HOST AN EVENT
The O-Farm is available for your next gathering! We require reservations to use the barn, grill, picnic pavilion, pizza oven, and camp fire pit. All Dartmouth-affiliated groups can use the reservation link below. If your event is not with a Dartmouth group, please send an inquiry email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: We will not be able to host any events until campus returns from remote learning format as a precaution for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Please email us with any questions regarding future events!