Hampshire College's Healthy Food Transition is changing the enterprise of producing, preparing, consuming, and managing food on campus. Food is used as a means to teach students, communicate values, experiment with new models to solve problems, influence our peers, and serve our community.
As one of the very few liberal arts institutions with a working farm, the Hampshire College Farm has been the focus of academic courses for students across the Five College Consortium and individual student research since the 1970s. Our farm supplies vegetables and meat to our dining services throughout the year. We also sell vegetable and meat CSA shares to the Hampshire and Five College communities. Farm products such as freshly-produced winter greens, eggs, meat, honey, and maple syrup are available at the HampStore year-round.
In pursuit of Hampshire's 100% Local Food Challenge, our dining service provider builds its menus around fresh, local food. Bon Appetit sources produce, meat, and dairy from over 15 local farms, of which a significant amount comes from the Hampshire College Farm itself. Through Hampshire’s Sustainable Food Purchasing Guide, the College has specific guidelines to strive toward when procuring food that minimizes negative impacts on the environment; strengthens connections within communities; and supports the health, human rights, and economic security of the people producing, preparing, and eating the food.
Students are engaged in every aspect of the work on the farm, from planting seeds in the spring to harvesting and delivering food to the dining hall in the fall. In the winter, students help with maple syrup production through tapping trees and boiling sap to make syrup that is sold on-campus at the HampStore. On-farm projects and research opportunities are available and encouraged. First-year students who are interested in learning more about farming can participate in the FARM! LLC, a living, learning community in which they live and work with other students interested in sustainable agriculture. Workstudy positions on the farm are also available year round.
In addition to participation at the farm, students can engage in a wide variety of other food systems-related activities. For instance, to help students across campus increase their food systems awareness and skill sets, Bon Appetit offers free cooking classes, featuring local, seasonally-available food. Hampshire College encourages student initiatives as much as possible; recent student-driven activities include late-night smoothie events, kitchen tours, and a video interview series with on-campus food systems staff. Students are also invited to work at Mixed Nuts, the student-run, volunteer-based collective that aims to promote equality, respect, honesty, and responsibility within the context of food systems and cooperatives.
Like the rest of the college, the Hampshire College Farm has worked hard on its sustainability efforts. From organic vegetable production to solar-powered tractors, the farm strives to create a future that is safe, environmentally sound, and equitable for generations to come. Read more about our sustainability efforts here.