Snapshots of Book and Plow as a Campus Farm
Work Study and Summer Internship
With any job I do at the greenhouse or in the field, I ask myself, can I share this job with a student? The answer is often yes, with some clear expectations, support, trust and feedback. These jobs include changing tractor oil, sanitizing the wash zone, building garden boxes, measuring yield on this year’s No-Till experiment, designing signs for the core site, and so much more. Of course we also plan our work days around crew seeding, planting, weeding, trellising, mulching, harvest and wash/pack. Spring Work Study starts today!!! We are still accepting applications and hiring for summer internships.
Campus Farmer Summit
Last week two Amherst students and I, and 180 other people from 70 organizations, attended the second New England Campus Farmer Summit at Stonehill College. The Summit included a panel on student wellness, workshops from grant-seeking to plant-disease research to building restorative communities, and more. Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy at Tufts, Julian Agyeman gave a keynote address about creating belonging through language and infrastructure design. Dean of the School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College, Philip Ackerman-Leist gave a retrospective on the evolution of farms on college campuses.
Students taking Intro to Economics with Environmental Applications with Kate Sims came to the farm to measure diminishing returns to productivity. They will also have a visit from Julia to discuss the economic implications of GMO Corn Policy in Mexico. Students in Surficial Earth Dynamics with Dave Jones came to the farm to discuss the key role of microbes is carbon sequestration and vegetable production. They will be back to analyze our farm’s soil and compare it with Hadley loam. Later this semester we’ll visit with both Molecular Gastronomy and Food, Fiber, and Pharmaceuticals.
Building Community around Food and Farming
Kaylee and I offered an interterm cooking class called Reframing Sustainable Eating with Your Farmers (Buffalo Cauliflower and Homemade Ranch Dressing was the winning bite). Our menu themes were Plant Forward; Plant-Based Meat Alternatives; Reducing Waste in the Kitchen.
Book and Plow is also hosting a Community Meal Series with Chef Neftali Duran where community members join students to cook and eat together, and discuss Indigenous food sovereignty, culinary justice and systemic solutions to hunger.
Opportunity for Students
Julia has been developing programming that wasn't available to her as a student, including this upcoming event! Interested in pursuing a career in the realm of Food & Agriculture? Join Amherst alumni, students, faculty, staff, and local community members engaged in these industries for an evening of community-building and networking! Appetizers and beverages will be served. Questions? Please contact Julia Herion-Cruz '19, farm fellow at Book & Plow, firstname.lastname@example.org
I am also coordinating a van from Amherst College for this event at Mount Holyoke the next day. Email me, email@example.com if you want a ride!
For Book and Plow,