The Campus Community Farm

The Campus Community Farm started as a small, almost invisible patch of ground between the Greens and what is now LQ.  In this small, shaded plot, the Community Garden Club maintained its steadily-producing garden, but dreamed of bigger things.  In 2010, those dreams became a reality when the Community Garden Club leased a piece of the Bean farm from Historic St. Mary’s City, with the help of the Environmental Studies Department and the Sustainability Committee, and officially began farming.  Their planting season was so successful that they were able to donate pounds of produce to the local homeless shelter as well as to Bon Appetit, the school's food service.  As interest grew, so did the farm, and in 2011, the Farm expanded to a full acre.   

Today, the Farm is run year-round by a group of dedicated students who oversee planting, watering, weeding, harvesting and maintaining the plants.  Student and community involvement is welcome, and several academic courses have already incorporated the farm into their curriculum.   Dr. Holly Gorton currently offers a Contemporary Bioscience class entitled “Science in the Garden,” which exposes dozens of students each year to the hard work and great rewards of gardening.  

Where is the Farm?
The Farm is located a short distance away from campus: about 10 minutes walking, 5 minutes by bike, and about 3 minutes by car.  To get there, take a left out of the Campus Center parking lot and continue down Route 5, passing the HSMC brick chapel. On your right will be Rosecroft Road (do not turn down Rosecroft).  Immediately after Rosecroft, on Route 5, is a small white house on the right with a half-moon driveway. The farm is directly behind and to the left of the house. 

What does the Farm Plant?
Everything! The last few years, the farm has planted flowers, cilantro, parsley, chamomile, spinach, lettuce, kale, tomatoes, basil, onions, 3 different colors of carrots, snap peas, radishes, beets, spring greens, and other medicinal and culinary herbs!  This food is given to Bon Appetit to serve in the Great Room, so look for the Farm's name next to the veggies! For more details, see the farm’s blog or Facebook page.

How can I get involved?
All students and community members may volunteer at the farm on 4pm most days.  The Farm is closed in winter, but will resume normal hours in mid-March.  The Composing Program will continue to run while the Farm is closed for the winter.  To volunteer, contact smcmcampusfarm@gmail.com.  

What's next for the Farm?
The Farm is looking at grants to build a greenhouse to hold herbs and accents for Bon Appetit.  It is a goal of the Farm to be able to supply the college with local food sown by the students, even though it is not possible to provide all of the food.   The Composting Program is in progress and will soon supply the Farm with valuable compost that can be used in planting the spring crop.

For more information on the Farm, please contact the club’s adviser Dr. Kate Chandler at krchandler@smcm.edu.