About the Organic Farm
Twenty four acres in the northwest portion of the Evergreen campus are dedicated to agricultural and ecological studies. Within a five-acre plot includes the Farmhouse, Demeter’s Gardens, Community Gardens, the compost facility, the workroom, tool shed, greenhouses and the 3 acre production area of the Organic Farm.
Production at The Organic Farm
The production area of the Organic Farm functions as a learning laboratory focused on small-scale organic agriculture. Students enrolled in the Practice of Sustainable Agriculture program (PSA) work as interns on the Organic Farm. The Organic Farm Manager and student farm aides maintain the momentum of the growing season and guide the students in farm duties. The Organic Farm is Certified Organic and is Salmon Safe Certified, which is a Northwest based certification program that links land management practices with the protection of agricultural and urban watersheds. The Organic Farm has been certified Salmon Safe since 2008, and 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 crew works all year round to plan, plant, maintain and harvest the various crops grown. The Compost Facility is use to turn farm waste into compost for fertilizing the production area of the farm.
The Organic Farm as a Living Laboratory
The growing methods practiced and taught at The Organic Farm work to embody a living example of sustainable agriculture. Students learn how to plan, plant, maintain and harvest a diverse array of vegetable crops. During the PSA internship, students participate in various areas of small-scale farming including care of perennial crops, orchards, livestock, tools, equipment, and irrigation just to name a few. The Organic Farm practices and teaches various tools to maintain a healthy food system starting with the soil, and conducts yearly research on varieties that grow best in our unique climate.
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 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.