Healthy Food Transition

Finding beauty through Farm Work: Reflections on the Growing Season

Owen Aptekar-Cassels is a third-year student at Hampshire College and one of 4 Hampshire students who worked as a vegetable farm intern this summer. I’ve been meaning to write this blog post for months, but I’m only now, when popcorn and pumpkin plants that started off so small and strong are now fruiting and dying back, getting the chance to write it. Farming can make other things slip to the side, I’m learning. My
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1200 Pounds of Blueberries Bound for Campus Dining Hall!

How many blueberries would it take to feed Hampshire College for a year? This was the question campus farmer Nancy Hanson asked dining service general manager Jim Lachance last July. Farmer Nancy proposed to take her hard working crew of student farmers out of the campus vegetable fields and up to the blueberry barrens of the Berkshires to pick enough berries to supply the dining for the entire school year. According
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Students Pick Local Strawberries for Campus Dining Hall

On Tuesday morning, the Hampshire College Farm crew teamed up with students attending the summer Food, Farm, and Sustainability Institute (FFSI) to pick nearly 700 pounds of local strawberries at historic Warner Farm in Sunderland, MA. The purpose of the trip was not only to provide a fun learning experience for the summer farm crew and FFSI students but also to harvest berries that Bon Appetit will use in pursuit of
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Hampshire Farmer Pete Solis Shares his “Eggspertise” on WBUR’s Here and Now

Hampshire’s Livestock and Pasture Manager Pete Solis met up with reporter Jeremy Hobson of WBUR’s Here and Now this spring to walk the aisles of a Boston supermarket and decode the various certifications, labeling, and marketing of eggs. Have you ever wanted to know the difference between “cage free” “Certified Humane” “pasture raised” and “Organic”? Listen
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Pancake Breakfast with Mixed Nuts!

To cap off our exciting Earth Day events, the Hampshire College Farm teamed up with Bon Appetit and Mixed Nuts to host a pancake breakfast at the Roos-Rohde house this morning. Students, faculty, and staff followed the scent of fresh flapjacks across campus and gathered at the Community Garden for an outdoor breakfast in the sunshine. Jim Lachance, General Manager of Bon Appetit Dining Services at Hampshire made his
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Maple tapping

A Sugaring Story: Reflections on a New England Tradition

Hampshire College farmers Jason Dragon and Pete Solis led the maple sugaring efforts at Hampshire College this spring. With the help of student workers, they collected 1100 gallons of maple sap from 150 trees across campus, which they boiled down to 20 gallons of delicious maple syrup. Read a firsthand account of this age-old New England tradition from Farmer Jason: In late February, in the midst of a long brutal win
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winter scenery

The Mysterious Life of a Farmer in Winter

As a farmer during this time of year, I often get the question “what do you do all winter?” I usually smile, shrug and reply, “I go down to a forty-hour week.” Admittedly this response has not led to very many follow-up questions over the years so I thought that I would finally sit down and let you in on the mysterious life of a farmer in winter. Just like everyone else this year, Jason, Pete and I are spending a lot
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making kimchi

From Cabbages to Kimchi

Mark Twain once said “Cauliflower is nothing more than cabbage with a college education.” Well, here at Hampshire we might say that kimchi is nothing more than cabbage with a college education. Yesterday, students in Tamara Stenn’s Social Entrepreneurism and Food Sustainability class trudged through thigh-high snow from campus down to the Farm Center to make kimchi, using vegetables from the Farm
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Pete with cows

The Faces Behind Your Food: Pete Solis

Over the next few months, we will be featuring a series of interviews here on the Food, Farm, and Sustainability Blog that focus on the people behind Hampshire’s Healthy Food Transition. From local farmers in the field to seasoned chefs in the campus kitchen, we will explore the faces behind our food. Today we feature Pete Solis, Livestock and Pasture Manager at the Hampshire College Farm. To read our first feature w
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Healthy Food Transition Selected for Washington Center’s Civic Engagement Award

Food, Farm, and Sustainability Director Beth Hooker and Dean of Students Byron McCrae traveled to Washington DC this past week to accept a Higher Education Civic Engagement award presented by the Washington Center and New York Life Foundation. Hampshire was selected from a pool of 100 nominations for innovations in civic engagement around the Sustainability Initiative, specifically the Healthy Food Transition. From H
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The Faces behind your Food: Jim Lachance

Over the next few months, we will be featuring a series of interviews here on the Food, Farm, and Sustainability Blog that focus on the people behind Hampshire’s Healthy Food Transition. From local farmers in the field to seasoned chefs in the campus kitchen, we will explore the faces behind our food. Our first conversation is with Jim Lachance, the General Manager of Bon Appetit Dining Services at Hampshire Co
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Food Brings Us Together

We had a very exciting week welcoming students to campus; harvesting and feasting in celebration of the coming year! On Tuesday after Convocation, students, faculty, and staff were welcomed to the Community Dinner out on the library lawn. Hampshire’s dining service provider Bon Appetit prepared an incredible local feast that featured pork and fresh vegetables grown on the Hampshire College Farm. Here is the lis
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bee and flower

Fresh Vegetables, Fresh Eggs, and Fresh Ideas

In a few weeks, our campus will be repopulated with students, signalling a shift on the farm from planting and weeding to harvesting. The CSA barn will be all hustle and bustle starting on August 26th when our first crop of vegetables will be picked and washed and promptly packed away in member’s tote bags at the first share distribution. The campus CSA has been an essential facet of Hampshire College for over
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Farm Crew Picks Blueberries for Campus Dining Hall

The Hampshire College Farm crew caught a break from the barnyard and vegetable fields yesterday on a field trip to pick low-bush blueberries in the Berkshires. The purpose of the trip was not only to provide a fun learning experience for the summer farm crew but also to harvest blueberries that Bon Appetit could use in pursuit of our 100% Local Challenge. Nancy Hanson coordinated with the General Manager of the dinin
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Hampshire Hosts Screening of Local Farming Documentary

On Wednesday night, over 130 people gathered at Hampshire’s Red Barn to view the live broadcast of WGBY’s new documentary “A Long Row in Fertile Ground.” The event was spurred by Hampshire’s Food, Farm, and Sustainability Institute, an 8 credit academic program with students hailing from as far East as China and as far south as Georgia. The FFS students have visited several area farms th
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A Living Laboratory at the Hampshire College Farm

The academic buildings tend to be quiet at Hampshire College during the summer. But down at the Hampshire College Farm, our 15 acres of vegetable fields and 65 acres of pasture serve as a living classroom and laboratory for the students of our 6 week Food, Farm, and Sustainability Institute. Brian Schultz, Professor of Entomology and Ecology, is currently leading students in a hands-on experiment at the farm. With th
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Thinking Globally, Shoveling Locally

This week, word spread about our Healthy Food Transition at two conferences that were hosted locally but had global scope. Beth Hooker, Director of Food, Farm, and Sustainability at Hampshire College presented at a Global Megatrends forum about the interrelationships between food, water, energy, and climate change at the Smith-Tuck Global Leaders Program for Women. Beth explained key issues in our global industrial f
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Edible Pioneer Valley features Hampshire Farm

Our fertile valley is just starting to burst with early summer produce. Farm stands are laden with plump red strawberries and farmers market stalls are stuffed with glorious greens, pea shoots, and the last of spring asparagus. With this bountiful backdrop, the relaunch of the beloved publication Edible Pioneer Valley could not come at a better time! We are thrilled that there will be a chronicle of the exciting agri
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Hens Make a Home at Hampshire

It may be a dreary, rainy day at the Hampshire College Farm, but our spirits are bright because we get to spend the day with 75 baby chickens! This mix of Black Giants, Silver Laced Wyandottes, and New Hampshire Reds is just the first shipment of a total of 300 chickens that will become the new laying flock for the college. The chicks hatched yesterday and were immediately shipped out from Mt. Healthy Hatchery in Ohi
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What’s buzzing at the farm lately? Transplants, Bees and Piglets!

It has been a busy few weeks here at the Hampshire College Farm. The student workers have been hard at work for over a week and there are muddy boots to show for it! Our vegetable crew has transplanted thousands of starts (with thousands more to go still!) into the fields including tomatoes, leeks, popcorn, and a variety of flowers for our pick-your-own fields. Those flowers will be happily pollinated by our new heal
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