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 Organic Farm currently produces fruit, vegetables, eggs, chickens, herbs, cut flowers, and sheep.
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 USDA, and has been certified Salmon Safe since 2008. In order for the farm to receive Salmon Safe certification, the farm must demonstrate the following:
- Work diligently to protect riparian areas
- Maintain appropriate water use
- Reduce erosion
- Practice integrated pest management
- Sustainable and ethical animal management
- 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 Farming program (POF) 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 and water conservation. 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. Problem based learning functions as a keystone to the learning experience. Students collaborate in groups to work through complex problems on the farm and gain valuable learning experiences relatable to their future endeavors.
Examples of these projects include the construction of the Organic Farmhouse, designing the Sustainable Agriculture Lab, the Composting Facility, installation of the composting toilet, expansion of the orchard, 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.