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Organic Farm

The Organic Farm at Pomona College

Walk south from Seaver Theatre and you’ll find yourself in an unexpected, pastoral world known as the Organic Farm or, simply, “The Farm.” Created by a group of sustainability-minded students on a piece of fallow campus land in the Wash, the 2.5-acre Farm has now been officially adopted by the College and built into the curriculum of the Environmental Analysis program. Students can tend their own plots, or plant and till as part of a class.

Calling the space The Farm is actually a slightly misleading since "The Farm" encompasses two unique spaces with distinct histories.

The West Farm, the smaller and older Farm, was started a little over 10 years ago when four Pomona College students planted a small garden in an area known as the Wash, then being used as a gravel pit. Utilizing Dutch White Clover, a nitrogen-fixing plant species, the students fertilized the one-acre area of land and began cultivating small plots of herbs and vegetables. Since its birth, the West Farm has grown through the spontaneous and grassroots efforts of students, faculty and community members.

The East Farm, or Academic Field, was sanctioned from the top-down as a 1.5-acre facility for the Environmental Analysis Program. Unlike the West Farm, which has garden-like feel with paths, nooks and small idiosyncratic crop plantings, the Academic Field focuses on larger-scale, higher output agricultural methods. In spring 2006, the inaugural Farms and Gardens class broke ground in the Academic Field, setting up a green house and tool shed. In spring 2007, the second Farms and Gardens class started a berry patch filed with blackberries, raspberries and boysenberries. The Farms and Gardens class continues today, offered each spring and co-taught by Professors Richard Hazlett and Juan Araya.

A couple of unique landmarks in the Farm area are the Pomona goddess statue and the Earth Dome. Centrally located in the center of the West Farm, the large, super-adobe, rammed-earth dome is in its final construction stage and will become the social center for the Farm acting as a meeting house and library.

Note: This description was excerpted in part from the Environmental Analysis program web site.