Daniel Parson, Organic Farmer/Educator

We grow food—and food for thought.

Just down the road from Oxford’s main campus—only 700 feet from campus to be exact—lies an unusual living laboratory: the Oxford College Organic Farm.

This 11-acre piece of land was given to Oxford by an alumnus in 2011.

There are many things a college can do with that much land, but Oxford knew the best way to use this generous gift: Create a working organic farm that could not only provide fresh produce for student dining but could also provide hands-on experience that cuts across many disciplines. The farm began operation in 2014 and quickly earned a spot on the list of the Top 30 Sustainable College-Run Farms. Much of the produce from the farm winds up on the plates of Oxford students. It is also sold at Emory University’s weekly farmers market and to local community members through a subscription service.

 
Cover crops have been planted to develop the soil. A well has been drilled and an irrigation system installed. A barn has been designed and built to serve as a hub for operations, housing field equipment as well as the washing fixtures, walk-in cooler, classroom, and packing areas. Each week hundreds of pounds of produce are harvested.

Many Oxford faculty members incorporate the farm into their curricula. This includes courses in sociology, biology, philosophy, environmental science and wellness. Students in these classes visit the farm with their professor and return to work for several additional hours.

I've learned how to plant and how to hoe. I've learned how much energy goes into the smallest details. I will never see carrots the same way again.
Lindita Camaj. Bronx, New York

About 150 students provide much of the farm’s labor. Sixteen student workers devote their work/study hours on the farm each week, and still more students volunteer on the farm just for fun.

Oxford Organic Farm CSA
Produce from the Oxford Organic Farm is enjoyed weekly by dozens of local residents who are Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscribers. Parson makes it easy for those interested to sign up for the CSA online.
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