The farm began with the vision and enthusiasm of a few students and community members and 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 Middlebury College Organic Garden and create the plan for it


  • First summer garden (1/8 acre) run by Bennet, Jean, Chris Howell ‘04.5, and Jay Leshinsky, the  garden educator
  • Garden shed is built, well and solar panel are installed


  • First garden internships (two part-time interns) and first Children’s Garden program (started by  Sophie Esser Calvi ’04 Erin Jensen ‘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
  • Insectary project begins


  • Garden expands to one acre and internship program expands to four full-time students
  • Eight garden members represent Middlebury College at the international Slow Food meetings in Italy


  • Windbreak and classroom construction 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 with more than 50 students participating


  • Education becomes a focus of the garden, with students building gardens at the Aurora School and the Cornwall School and running school programs
  • Students teach a winter term course called Food Justice in Vermont
  • Students start an on-campus farmstand for 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
  • 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 New York to start a rooftop garden and help get the project off the ground
  • Jay Leshinsky retires as garden educator


  • Sophie Esser Calvi ‘04 is hired as the Food and Garden Educator 
  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama comes to bless bench and future Serenity garden
  • 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 through funding from an Environmental Council Grant


  • The Farm  becomes part of Environmental Affairs
  • Students build a pizza oven at the farm for community events


  • Students build an outdoor kitchen


  • 15 year celebration and naming of The Knoll
  • Labyrinth is built in collaboration with the Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life


  • Megan Osterhout Brakeley ‘06 is hired as the Food and Garden Educator


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