The Pomona College Organic Farm


So the farm is a 1.2 acre organic farm on
Pomona College’s campus. That’s almost entirely student run. We have a fruit orchard, we have row crops,
a greenhouse, chickens. We are an educational farm, we give people
practical experience working on a farm which is really cool, so its kind of a different
type of education than the traditional classroom setting. It started actually in the late 90s as kind
of a composting club, there was a bunch of students who wanted to bring the food scraps
from the dining hall and make compost, and this at that point was just a vacant plot
of land on campus that wasn’t being used for anything. It was really under the radar, the school
didn’t know it was here for a long time. They initially wanted to turn this area into
athletics fields, but then there was a huge petition from students who got 900+ signatures
to save the farm, and then the environmental analysis department at the time really took
the farm under its wing. Pretty much all the farm employees have the
same responsibilities, we tend to everyday tasks of the farm, so that’s like working
on compost, we get food scraps from frank and frary, the dining halls, and we produce
compost for the farm out of them, and it’s pretty high-volume. It’s like usually about 8 giant trash cans
a day, then just everyday things like weeding, seeding, to prepare for spring planting, like
right now the greenhouse is full of a bunch of seedlings that we’re going to be putting
in the ground within the next month or so. We mulch the paths, its like everything you
could imagine that has to make something run smoothly, we do all of those tasks. I am the farmstand coordinator. So I harvest once a month, and then run farmstand. We harvest whatever is ripe at that moment,
and then we sell that at the SCC and anyone who wants some can just come up, someone bought
out all of our collard greens last time I was there, and then I saw him cooking them
a couple of days later, and that was kind of fun. There are so many opportunities to get involved
here, and it is so easy to just show up one day and start volunteer hours, and have a
group of like 8 new friends who you’ve never met before, but they all are people who enjoy
getting their hands dirty and making new things and creating a little community here. It’s definitely an easy community to become
involved in, and it’s not frightening at all, and showing up to potlucks, and showing
up to volunteer hours is definitely a good way to be involved and start learning more
about the local plant culture here. I was working like 4 jobs on campus, and most
if not all o the other ones were doing, you know, stuff inside, office jobs, so I felt
like with that and my school work, it was a great balance for me because you’re using
your brain in different ways, you’re outside, and yeah balance is like really important
for me, and it gave me that. Recognizing that while you’re in school,
in college, especially in a beautiful state like California, being on a land, getting
to know it, and then getting to know what California has to offer because I feel like
you go to class, you go day to day, and its kind of hard to sort of mentally snap out
of the bubble and just take a minute and just be like there’s so much more that’s going
on here, so I think being able to take a few minutes, take an hour, or two hours out of
your week, come out here and do some volunteering, you can kind of recognize that there is more
going on here than just what you see, and that you can definitely find more ways to
get involved and see the benefits of the farm and how it can impact you, and the rest of
the 5C community. It’s really nice to have this have been
so consistent for me throughout college, that I always have the farm as like a place to
go and do something different that helps me take my mind off of everything else that I’m
doing, and still is really fulfilling. It’s not just a distraction, it’s something
that I really enjoy, there’s a really good group of people here, and we have a nice community
that is really really helpful.

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