About the Organic Farm
Connected to main campus by two trails through the campus forest, the Organic Farm is a working small-scale organic farm that serves as a learning laboratory focused on small-scale organic agriculture. The Farm currently produces fruit, vegetables, chickens, eggs and sheep. Produce is sold through a weekly farm stand on campus, as well as through a 32-member Community Supported Agriculture. Located in the northwest portion of the Evergreen campus the 5-acre developed area includes the Farmhouse (built by students in the 1970’s), 3 acres of fields and orchards, greenhouses, a closed-tunnel composting facility and miscellaneous outbuildings.
The Organic Farm is Certified Organic, by the Washington State Department of Agriculture, and has been certified Salmon Safe since 2008. We work diligently to protect riparian areas, maintain appropriate water use, reduce erosion, practice integrated pest management, animal management and biodiversity conservation in accordance with both Salmon Safe and Organic certifications.
The Organic Farm as a Living Laboratory
Supported by staff, student farm aides and faculty, students enrolled in the Practice of Organic Agriculture program (POA) work as interns on the Organic Farm throughout the entire growing season. The growing methods practiced and taught at the Farm provide a working example of organic agriculture with a focus on soil health. Students learn how to plan, plant, maintain and harvest a diverse array of crops while also developing a wide variety of agricultural skills. The internship is supported by academic work in the agricultural sciences. Yearly research projects test new crop and crop varieties, as well as ideas to improve the Farm.
Students can learn the art and science of making compost at the Compost Facility. Student-designed composting tunnels rapidly turn farm waste into compost for fertilizing the fields and orchards.
From building the Organic Farmhouse to being a significant part of the design process for the Sustainable Agriculture Lab, student projects have contributed significantly to the Farm. Other student projects include the Composting Facility, installation of the composting toilet, expansion of the orchard, creation of a master plan for the Organic Farm, design and installation of an aquaponics system, and a compilation of Farm history.
Student Groups and Activities at The Organic Farm
- Community Gardens Is a Student Activities group dedicated to providing gardening space to members of Evergreen and the greater Olympia community. Every year, the Community Gardens hosts a Harvest Festival at the Farm to celebrate the end of the growing season!
- Demeter’s Gardens is a community-based demonstration site, embodying the principles of permaculture and perennial polyculture systems.
- The Medicinal Herb Garden is a classical four square garden of herbaceous and woody plants with healing properties including common culinary herbs such thyme, rosemary and sage.