Garrett Trimble ’23 participated in the highly competitive Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) progra...
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The Knox Farm, consisting of an acre of outdoor growing area and two season-extending "high tunnel" structures, produces food for on-campus use and for sharing with the community.
Students plan, plant, harvest, and otherwise manage the operations of the farm, through the Office of Sustainability. The one - three person student Farm Crew employees have the job of managing these operations, but productivity depends a great deal on volunteer involvement. Everyone on campus has the chance to practice hands-on agricultural techniques throughout the year.
The produce from the Knox Farm is grown following organic farming principles. The soil is amended with campus-generated compost, integrated pest management techniques are practiced, and no synthetic pesticides or artificial soil amendments are used within the farm. The farm serves as an immersive, educational experience for students, therefore each season the students can experiment with different ideas and face new challenges.
As one part of Knox's commitment to a more localized food chain, the majority of food produced by the Farm is served by Knox Dining Services, just 110 yards east of the farm. A variety of crops are grown in spring and fall, for fresh use in the salad bar and served to students. During the summer, the Farm is dedicated to production of preservable produce, such as tomatoes and cucumbers. Kitchen staff cook down tomatoes into sauce or pickle cucumbers, which are then preserved for use during the fall term. This unique and innovative method of overcoming the asymmetry between the growing season and the academic year earned Knox a special mention in the 2014 AASHE Annual Review of Sustainability Innovations and Best Practices.