Not long ago few students felt connected to the town or state where they attended college. As we have learned to appreciate a greater sense of place and study our surroundings, students have begun to explore beyond their campus quads. Out in the community, college students have the opportunity to expand their learning opportunities and volunteer their time in a meaningful way.
Cloverleigh Farm is happy to provide a greater sense of place and an outdoor learning environment where students can catch a glimpse into the life of a diversified small-scale vegetable farm and even source their fall vegetables from the farm with a student CSA share.
In an effort to make locally-grown and sustainably-grown produce accessible and affordable to students, Cloverleigh Farm began offering a fall student share in its Mansfield location. Intended to serve students from UConn and Eastern, this small-sized share is only $125 for 8 weeks (late Sept-mid November) of produce and can help get those who are just learning about our food system become involved in the
local food scene. Membership supports a new small businesses, community development,
organic land management, carbon sequestration, and healthy living. Read more about the
fall student share on the CSA Program page.
Yale visits: Harvest support crew August 2017
As student leaders participating in Yale's Harvest pre-orientation program, these support crew members not only help out with farm work for one week but also spend time visiting (supporting) other farms who are hosting groups of incoming first-year students. They camp out, cook all their own meals, work alongside the farm crew and don't even get to shower! August field work often includes harvesting potatoes and these three jumped right in to help finish up our harvest for the season. We also got to visit with a couple thousand other folks who gathered on Horsebarn Hill at UConn for the solar eclipse. Thankfully they had brought a pair of the special eclipse glasses with them! Once again, it was great to have Yale students on the farm - it's become a regular tradition.
UConn and Trinity College interns: Summer 2017
Graham and Tony have been friends since childhood, growing up just down the street from each other. They are still close even though they attend different colleges. They both spent part of the summer on the farm, pulling all manner of weeds, spraying biological nutrients and keeping the field perimeters looking spick and span. Each was studying for a different exam...Tony for the LSAT and Graham the GRE...and Tony was also trying to teach himself Spanish through podcasts. They were very fun to have around, did tremendous work at the farm and significantly contributed to a successful season. Graham may take home the prize for leaving the farm covered in the most dirt, every day. They really got a kick out of this enormous rock we covered after cleaning up the beds where we had harvested onions. You never know what you'll find in a farm field!
Yale visits: Harvest leader training May 2017
Wild spring weather had this
group of Yale Harvest leaders
bundled up for most of their
time at the farm. They
managed to help bag up rocks,
a bountiful New England
crop that helps us weight
down our floating row cover
and also problem solved with
some tricky irrigation piping.
Many hands do make light
work and also solve problems
more quickly than trying to
do it alone! With lots of cold
rainy weather that kept us out of the field, the group didn't let that damper their spirits. Instead we got to visit with milking cows at UConn and warm up with some hot drinks at one of our local cafes. When you're camping out (in this instance in the barn) it can really help just to have something hot! In August these students will be leading groups of incoming first-year students as part of an optional pre-orientation programs that takes Yale across CT to various small farming farms.
Yale visits: Harvest support crew August 2016
There was some tumultuous weather when this group of four Yale students spent a week camping and working at the farm. With good spirits and continous effort, we dug potatoes, sampled heirloom tomatoes, and harvested cherry tomatoes. Not only did they spend time at Cloverleigh Farm but were also on call as "support' for crews at other CT farms who were hosting groups of incoming first-year students. Every year Harvest prints great t-shirts - here's the crew showing theirs off before they headed back to New Haven.
University of Connecticut intern: Summer 2016
When Hannah showed up to her interview in a big pickup truck and gladly moved bags and bags of potting mix, I knew I had found the right person. With no previous experience in agriculture, save for some seasonal work selling apples at a local orchard, she quickly learned the way of organic vegetable production with a ton of positivity and a fantastic work ethic. Early hours, long days,
hot afternoons...nothing much can phase her. But a good
popsicle can go a long way.
Entering her senior year at UConn, she just switched her
major to Animal Science, and discovered ned and exciting
things on the farm: kohlrabi is always white inside, melons
and beets always taste better when eaten right in the field,
and making flower bouquets are not her cup of tea.
She leaves the farm each day with a smile, covered in dirt,
turns on the country music and heads home.
Bard College and Connecticut College interns: Summer 2015
Both rising juniors, Giulia and Nako each spent time discovering the elements involved in small-scale vegetable production. Eager learners and dedicated workers, they brought energy and enthusiasm with them each day.
Giulia studies environmental policy at Bard College, located in the Hudson Valley of New York. In addition to her time on the farm, she was also an intern for Connecticut Congressman Joe Courtney and learned about about how federal policy can impact young farmers. Bard is dedicated to procurement of locally-grown foods and is continually adding new programs and vendors in order to meet student and faculty demand, as displayed on the college's sustainability page.
Nako is a native of Japan and studies Anthropology at Connecticut College in New London. She is also a scholar in the school's Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment. Prior to her stopover at Cloverleigh Farm, she spent one month volunteering at a biodynamic vineyard in France. Inspired by her time spent in the field, Nako wrote a piece for Spoon University about small-scale farming.