Green Mountain College has a farm! What does that mean? It means that unlike other colleges and universities, Green Mountain College has a highly diverse and productive farm located right on campus and open to all students interested in helping to manage the farm or volunteer to feed animals. The name of the farm is Cerridwen Farm and there are 170 chickens, 2 oxen (Bill and Lou), ducks, baby goats, 2 milk cows and one calve. There are usually 6 – 10 pigs and bees as well.
Just like most of prospective students, the first time that I visit Green Mountain College, I was shocked to see a farm on campus. I come from Afghanistan and it is unusual to see a farm on college campus. None of the schools have farm in Afghanistan. It was new for me to see chicken, oxen, cows, picks, goats and many other unique animals in an academic area. It was new for me to see students volunteer to feed the animals or grow vegetables. In Afghanistan, I have farmed and had cows, chickens and donkey at home but never saw one at an institution. But GMC is a unique place that gives the opportunity to students to experience farming and feeding animals. Some of my friends go to milk the two cows and work at the farm to grow vegetables. There is a two-acre garden where students grow tomatoes, squash, zucchinis, cucumbers, carrots, onions, garlic, bell peppers, hot peppers, eggplant, potatoes, parsley, lettuce, grapes, and berries as well.
There is a blacksmith forge and a cider press and students use the oxen for hay production and plowing. The farm provides students with an exceptional opportunity to obtain both work-study and volunteer experience. Some students may think that they need to come from a farming background to get involved at GMC Farm. It is not true. Many students who have never work at a farm get involved here.
It is important to mention that the farm first started by a wonderful and selfless human being, Professor Ackerman-Leist (http://www.greenmtn.edu/ackermanleistp.aspx). He started this farm from his own pocket. He is an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Director of the Farm and Food Project at GMC. He started this farm for students majoring in sustainable agriculture and the whole student body. The farm provides wider selection of local foods in the campus dining hall and it includes chicken and duck eggs, greens and vegetables and meat.
How many people does get the chance to experience a little bit of farming and growing vegetable and food or feeding chicken and cows or milking a cow for fun in their life time? The answer is that very few lucky human beings get the chance. This is why people waste food. This is why people do not appreciate their food. It is because they do not know where their food comes from! They do not know the sources of their food. The farm at GMC helps student body to learn where their food comes from and how. It helps them to appreciate the healthy food, the nature, and the animals. For Further information, please visit the farm’s page:http://www.greenmtn.edu/farm_food/greetings.aspx#mulder