History of the Farm

The Middlebury College Organic Farm (MCOF) is a relatively new addition to the college that began with the vision and enthusiasm of just a few individuals.  Below you can find a brief time-line of MCOF's history.






Bennett Konesni '04.5 and Jean Hamilton '04.5 envision the garden and create the plan for it. The Middlebury College Organic Garden (MCOG) begins.



First summer garden (1/8 of an acre) run by Bennet, Jean, Chris Howell '04.5 and community volunteer Jay Leshinsky. Garden shed is built, well and solar panel are installed.



First garden internships (two part time interns) and the first Children's Garden program (started by Erin Jensen '04 and Sophie Esser '04). First honey harvest. First classes taught at the garden (Environmental Studies, Geology, Geography, Biology, Dance, Teacher Education and English). Beginning of seed saving project.



Internship program expands to one full time and two part time students. Garden expands to 1/2 acre. Beginning of insectary project.



Garden expands to an acre and Internship program expands to four full time students. 8 MCOG members represent Middlebury College at the international Slow Food meetings (Terra Madre) in Italy.



Windbreak and classroom begins. Garden expands to 1.5 acres. Seed saving research done at garden.



Construction of new walking and biking path to the garden. Classroom building completed.



Garden expands to 2 acres. Pollinator research project begins at garden. Student CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program begins: more than 50 students participate.


Education becomes a focus of MCOG: Students build gardens at the Aurora School and the Cornwall School;  run a summer program at MCOG through the Aurora School summer camp; and run a fall club at the Cornwall School. Students teach a winter term course on Food Justice in Vermont.

Students start an on campus farmstand and sell to faculty, staff and students.

Advisor committee forms and first meeting occurs in November.

Organic certification process begins.

Hoophouse is built at garden site and used for seed starting and hot-crops.


Name officially changed to Middlebury College Organic Farm (MCOF). Students run a weekend summit for student farmers at NESCAC schools. Students and faculty propose Food Studies minor.

Students design a barn and planning process begins.

Students work with the Bronx Academy of Letters in NYC to start a roof top garden and help get the project off the ground.