By Kat Christen
Spring is here and the Antioch Farm is in great shape to kick off our second growing season! Students working on the farm this winter have prepared beds that double last year’s annual growing area to about half an acre. We are busy planting the greenhouse for spring as well as many flats of plants to later be transplanted onto the Farm.
About 60 first-year students took the Global Seminar on Food course this winter. In addition to the series of great speakers and small discussions, all students completed a group project for the course.
On the Farm, one group tapped and collected tree sap to make maple syrup. Another group designed and built an herbal tea station for student and staff use in the dining hall. Herbs, many with medicinal qualities, will be grown or wild harvested from the Farm for the tea station this growing season. Some of the herbs include nettle, red clover, spearmint, and lemongrass. Other projects included experiments with natural fertilizers such as biochar and compost tea.
We scoped out sheep housing, feed methods, and interacted with baby lambs on the Dixon Farm during a staff field trip in preparation for lambs arriving on the Antioch Farm in April. On the farm, we are building a hoop house shelter for the lambs and marking out their future grazing pens on the old ‘golf course’. The project, which will bring five to seven lambs to campus until autumn, is a pilot to explore maintaining a heritage breed sheep herd on campus throughout the year.