History of the Farm

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. 


2002

  • 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

2003

  • 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

2004

  • 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

2005

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

2006

  • 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

2007

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

2008

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

2009

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

2010

  • 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

2011

  • 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

2012

  • EatReal student organization formed
  • First FoodWorks internships create new opportunities for learning about the food system

2013

  • Farm adds 12 egg-laying birds and 40 meat chickens thanks to funding from Environmental Council Grant

2014

  • Students build a pizza oven at the farm for community events