With field crops, rotating pastures, an urban demonstration garden and perennial borders planted with orchards, grapes, berries, native plants and herbs, this working farm produces a bounty of edibles in addition to its most important crop: a new generation of experts versed in both the principles and practices of sustainable farming. Farm products will initially be sold to R&DE Stanford Dining and through a pilot CSA (community-supported agriculture) program.
At the O'Donohue Family Stanford Educational Farm, we model a new kind of agriculture that:
Analyzing these agroecological management practices and their environmental and social impacts will allow us to develop and model the kinds of practices that contribute to broader agricultural sustainability.
We are partnering with Stanford Dining to create a full-circle waste recovery project: We take pre-consumer food waste and coffee grounds from the dining halls (where our produce is used) to feed our compost piles and worm bins, turning waste into a source of fertility for the farm that will then grow more food for the dining halls.
This spring the farm is piloting a new twist on community-supported agriculture (CSA). Participants join the farm as 'members' and receive accounts they can load with dollars and/or 'hours' through working on the farm. FarmShare members will be able to come to the farm, harvest what’s fresh and manage their hours and checkout with a new custom open-source software package.
This year the farm featured 29 varieties of cut flowers - dahlias and sunflowers, celosia and asters, snapdragons and amaranth - many in shades of Cardinal red. Our fall flower CSA program delivered fresh seasonal bouquets to offices every week. We also provided sustainably grown seasonal blooms for campus events. In addition to gracing many a campus table, these flowers provide habitat for beneficial insects that help control crop pests, and nectar for our resident bee hives.