Aerial view of the Knoll at Middlebury College.

The Middlebury College Knoll explores food as a medium to cultivate well-being in people, places, and the planet.

The Knoll offers three main program areas and ways to engage: the Educational Garden, the Outdoor Kitchen, and the Serenity Garden. We host  faculty, staff, students, and our local community for classes, research, gardening hours, internships, and events.

  • The Educational Garden serves as a place for students to learn about gardening and agriculture through research and hands-on experiences. We grow food for Midd Dining and each year we contribute produce to our robust local gleaning program coordinated by HOPE, a local nonprofit. 
  • The Outdoor Kitchen is a space to cultivate community. In a typical year, we host pizza nights and help co-host celebrations for campus partners. Interns learn to cook with the wood-fired oven and make pizzas with vegetables from our gardens.
  • The Serenity Garden is a work-in-progress on the western slope of the Knoll. This garden is a collaboration with the Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life. In 2012, His Holiness the Dalai Lama blessed a large round marble bench. We also constructed a labyrinth to celebrate 15 years of the Knoll in September 2017. 

Learn More About the Knoll

Check out the intern-run blog!

Browse our Annual Reports!

Visit the Knoll

The physical address of the Knoll is 152 Vermont Route 125, Cornwall, VT. Driving access is limited during the spring and fall, but visitors are invited to park cars at the intersection of Bicentennial Way and Route 125, then walk the short dirt road to the Knoll. When the weather allows, we will leave the gate open and visitors may park at the Knoll.

Map showing the preferred safe walking routes to the Knoll.

Please be respectful of our rules while visiting:

  • Please keep dogs on leashes
  • Stay on paths
  • Leave the harvesting to us*
    • please note all are welcome to snack from the Grazing Garden
  • Please pack out what you pack in
  • Burn permits and event registrations are required for all campfires

The Knoll Crew

Megan O. Brakeley ’06, Associate Director of The Knoll

Megan guides the Knoll’s programming and partnerships, manages the educational garden, supports interns, and helps organize events at the Knoll. Megan graduated from Middlebury College (Spanish and Environmental Studies) and holds a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of the Environment. She moonlights as a Snow School Instructor at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl and serves as a member of the Porter Medical Center Board. Prior to this role, Megan worked at the College with the Center for Community Engagement and as a Posse Mentor.

Summer Interns

From starting seedlings in the spring to harvesting in the fall, the Knoll is dependent on student volunteers and interns. Volunteers and interns help with the production and sale of food crops as well as participating in regular farm visits to learn more about our local food community. 

Read full introductions of Knoll Interns on the blog

Former Knoll Staff

Sophia Calvi ’03.5, Director of Programs-Sustainability & Environmental Affairs 

Sophia took all the food classes as an undergraduate at Middlebury! Bill McKibben’s first class “Local Food” shed light on her passion for cultivating wellbeing with food as a medium. She spent the summer of 2004 running the first children’s garden program at the Knoll. She then ventured out into the wider world of food systems and sustainability. Sophia returned to Middlebury in 2012 as the Food and Garden Educator to manage the Knoll and help develop a Food Studies program and the FoodWorks summer fellowship. She has a master’s degree in Food Culture and Communications from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy and a BA in International Studies and Women & Gender Studies from Middlebury. As the Director of Programs, Sophia works closely with students, faculty and staff, as well as broader local and global communities, to continuously evolve sustainability.

Jay Leshinsky, Food and Garden Educator

Event Hosting 

Thank you for being mindful of the Knoll as a working garden and learning environment and yielding space to staff, volunteers, and reserved group events as needed.

Most of the time, small, casual gatherings of students, faculty, and staff are welcome and encouraged and do not require reservation. However, occasionally we will fully close the Knoll for a private event that has requested to operate within affinity space. Since we do not have walls or doors to close, we will post physical signs on site and on our Instagram account (@middknoll) during these rare full closures of the Knoll.

  • We have an upcoming event Saturday afternoon, 5/7 where the Knoll will be fully closed for a private function from 1:30-7:30pm.
  • Please be respectful of this closure - we’ll see you on another day

For guidelines on how to apply to host an event, please visit our “Event Hosting Steps” page. Please note that we are at full capacity for Spring 2022 and are no longer considering requests for campfires or pizza oven use until summer.

A winter note: Please remember that the Knoll operates as a three-season space and no amenities are available at the Knoll during winter (e.g., driving access, snow removal, restroom access, water, hand hygiene, trash receptacles). Our typical season runs from April 1 - November 1 and we are not able to support organized events outside of this period.

Find out what’s happening by keeping in touch!