Follow the interns as they share their work, learning and fun in Louisville and Vermont
Middlebury's signature internship program for students interested in local food and sustainable development
26 Middlebury students are participating in FoodWorks, a nine-week competitive paid internship program - with housing - centered on the different aspects of a local food system and currently operating in Louisville and Vermont.
Students are working in city and state government, business and retail, publishing and marketing, non-profits, and on farms. Issues being addressed include microenterprise and economic development; education, health,and nutrition; food production, processing, and distribution; food access, safety and security; food equity and social justice; sustainable agriculture; and food policy.
What is Middlebury FoodWorks?
FoodWorks is a cohort internship program for Middlebury College students interested in local food and sustainable development. Its mission is to provide summer internship opportunities that enhance student learning and engagement in food studies.
Each student works four days a week in an internship focused on a different aspect relating to local food. On the fifth day, students participate together in a curriculum designed to meet targeted learning objectives on sustainable agriculture and ecology; food systems; community and economic development; nutrition and health; and other topics such as food security and justice, policy, culture and traditions.
In addition to the 5th day component, students have formal and informal opportunities to engage in the community around food, further reinforcing and integrating the learning throughout their summer.
Middlebury FoodWorks was piloted in Louisville last summer and expanded to include our Vermont partners in 2013. Middlebury FoodWorks is a program sponsored by the Center for Careers and Internships, Office of Academic Affairs, and the Organic Farm (MCOF).
- Meaningful four-day/week internships with a company or organization working on developing the local food economy in Louisville and in and around Addison County, Vermont.
- Minimum-wage based stipend for 9 weeks of work. The program dates are from Monday, June 3 to Friday, August 2, 2013.
- High content "Fifth Day" presentations and projects relating to the local food system and economic development.*
- Mentoring by Middlebury alumni and parents.
- Profound personal engagement among interns, members of the local food sector, and the community.
Benefits to Middlebury students
- Paid internship opportunity, with housing provided
- The chance to touch, taste and work with all aspects of the local food movement.
- A comprehensive view of the local food system and its role in urban and rural economic development, including direct contact with movers and shakers in the field.
- Peer connections as students live and work together on Fifth Day projects.
- An on-line component that allows FoodWorks interns to connect across sites and compare their rural and urban food systems experiences.
Questions? Contact Amy McGlashan at CCI, x5103.
During the school year, Middlebury students can attend MCOF meetings every Sunday. To join the club’s email list and stay updated about garden events, email email@example.com.
Student and community volunteers are welcome anytime at the garden to care for the site and help with the harvest. Feel free to contact us if you interested in getting involved at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the student directors of the garden:
Katie Michels '15: email@example.com
Ari Lattanzi '13: firstname.lastname@example.org
Spring and Fall semester employment opportunities:
Join the Farm CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)
In a CSA, community members pledge to support a farm in return for a share of the harvest. Sign up to help out for four hours a week, solo or with a partner, and at the end of your shift handpick a bag of seasonal produce to take home with you. One of the past summer farm interns will be available to explain the day’s goals for the garden.
2011 Volunteer Hours
Monday – Thursday, 3:00 – 5:00 pm
No need to RSVP, just come on down!
Shop at the MCOF farmstand
Want to cook a meal this weekend and feature local produce? Need a snack? Want some flowers to decorate your dorm room? Look out for the MCOF farmstand every Friday in September and October from 4-6pm in front of The Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest
The Garden Manager publishes a report at the end of each growing season.
Please take a look at the latest report:
Also, see an archive of previous years’ reports below:
The Middlebury College Organic Farm (MCOF) began with the vision and enthusiasm of a few students and community members. It has grown into a dynamic space for exploring the local and global food system.
- 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 Middlebury College Organic Garden (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
- EatReal student organization formed
- First FoodWorks internships create new opportunities for learning about the food system
- Farm adds 12 egg-laying birds and 40 meat chickens thanks to funding from Environmental Council Grant
- Students build a pizza oven at the farm for community events
The Middlebury College Farm and Food Project provides students, staff, faculty, and community members the opportunity to participate in and learn about agriculture.
Our mission is to promote awareness of issues surrounding food production by:
- Providing instruction and hands-on learning at the farm
- Facilitating events, speakers, farm visits, and screenings related to food issues
Staff from Environmental Affairs oversee the farm in collaboration with the Middlebury College Organic Farm (MCOF) student organization. There are community and student opportunities to volunteer and intern at the farm.
The farm is located on a knoll in the field behind Bicentennial Hall. To get there, walk or drive down the hill from the college west on College Street (Rte. 125) for a half-mile. Take a right at the wooden sign that reads "Middlebury College Organic farm." If you are driving, you can leave your car at the sign and walk the short dirt road to the farm.
Jay Leshinsky, Farm Educator
Jay has a master's degree in Education and Human Development from the University of Maryland. While there, he began an organic market garden influenced by his visits to the Rodale Organic Research Center and Walnut Acres organic farms in nearby Pennsylvania. After moving to Vermont in 1975, Jay continued to expand the market garden business and combine it with his work for private and public educational programs in Vermont. He collaborated with foundations and schools to develop programs for school gardens, agriculture centered curriculum, and staff training to more effectively use local food products in Head Start nutrition programs. Jay has advised the Farm since it's beginning in 2003.
Sophie Esser Calvi ' 03, Global Food Studies Coordinator
Sophie holds a master's degree in Food Culture and Communications from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy and a BA in International Studies from Middlebury College. She is thrilled to be back at Middlebury, ten years after starting a children's garden at the college farm. She then ventured out into the wider world of food and wine, where she has worked for wineries and various garden, farm and food organizations. She directs the FoodWorks program and works closely with students, faculty, staff, as well as the broader food community, on numerous food initiatives.
Volunteers and Interns
The farm is dependent on student volunteers and interns for all activities, from tomato starts to fall harvest. Although this work is coordinated by two student interns, volunteers do the bulk of the labor. Visit the "Get involved" page for more information on volunteering and applying for the coordinator positions. We love visitors! Come by any time to help out.
From mid-May to September the farm is maintained by four summer farm interns who see to the production and sale of food crops as well as participating in weekly farm visits. This popular internship program is funded by the previous year's crop sales and generous alumni gifts.
Helen Young (Biology) and her students have recently been exploring the effects of landscape on pollinator: How does the presence of forest around a field affect the number and diversity of bee pollinators? What about corn fields? Or roads and rivers and cities? This work has strong relevance in Addison County, an area heavily reliant on agriculture for its well-being. Once the researchers know what influences pollinator abundance, they will be able to include this information in city and county planning, and help farmers maintain (or even increase) their crop yield for insect pollinated crops.