The Student Farm, an informal endeavor for many years, was officially welcomed to Rutgers Gardens in 2016. With renewed vigor and guidance, the farm now functions as an outdoor classroom for specialized, interdisciplinary coursework, providing unique learning opportunities, hands-on experiences, and research opportunities for students throughout the year. It also serves as a vibrant local food source and provides a foundation for community outreach and programming, as well as an entrepreneurial perspective. Our aspiration is to showcase an example of small-scale food production that is simultaneously ecologically sound, socially just, and economically viable—the three pillars of sustainability. The Student Farm is supported through funding from the University, private donors, and by the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.
In 2019 the Student Farm partnered with the Rutgers Student Food Pantry to provide fresh produce to food-insecure students. Throughout the growing season, fresh produce is distributed on a weekly basis to students in need of access to nutrient-dense food. Additionally, we operate a 26-week Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share program. To learn more the program, including how to enroll, please see below!
The summer interns who contribute to the farm operation are part of a 16-week Student Farm Internship Program. These paid positions offer students the opportunity to learn about production, local food justice, community outreach, and more, by helping with all aspects of small-scale organic farming, from seeding to sale and everything in between. Visit the Student Farm Internship page to learn more.
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Enrollment for the 2021 season is now open! The season will run for 26 weeks–from 5/28 to 11/19. The only option for share collection is Fridays at Cook’s Market (Rutgers Gardens) from 11 am – 3 pm. There are two share sizes: $350 and $500. You will receive a member bonus for participating in the CSA. Partial shares receive a 10% bonus for a starting balance of $385, and full shares a 15% bonus for a starting balance of $575. The weekly averages are about $15 and $22 respectively if you choose to use the same amount each week.
The CSA model we use is one of free choice. You will essentially have a debit account with the Student Farm that will allow you to come when you want and choose what you want. This means that you will be able to decide what and how much of each item you will be taking home. Skip what you know you will not use and take more of what you love. Stock up on cucumbers for pickling, or tomatoes for canning or freezing sauce and salsa. If you are away on vacation or are just simply too busy to make it to the market, you will not miss out on any vegetables. Your account balance will remain intact until you visit us again. Use $40 or $5 on any given Friday—it is totally up to you. We will update your balance weekly, so you may ask for your current balance at any time. Your account will remain active until the last day of the regular market season, which is the Friday before Thanksgiving. There is no rollover from year to year. Remaining balances after November 19th will be used to donate produce to the Rutgers Student Food Pantry in an effort help provide fresh and healthy food options to food insecure students.
Due to COVID-19 we will be offering pre-packaged shares. In an effort to maintain free choice, we will be using Local Line (an online store platform) to facilitate pre-orders. We will send you a notification every Tuesday with that week’s availability. We ask that you complete your online order by Thursday at noon. You can collect your bagged veggies on Fridays at Cook’s Market. Not all of the items listed below are available each week of the associated season. There are generally 10-15 items available each week. Weekly availability changes frequently.
Spring: kale, chard, kohlrabi, scallions, radishes, arugula, mixed Asian greens, pea shoots, sunflower shoots, beets, bok choy, lettuce, snap peas, sweet salad turnips, herbs.
Summer: kale, chard, beets, cabbage, carrots, zucchini/summer squash, cucumbers, lettuce, green beans, onions, fennel, peppers, hot peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, tomatillos, garlic, herbs.
Fall: kale, chard, lettuce, beets, cabbage, onions, garlic, fennel, peppers, hot peppers, potatoes, arugula, bok choy, tat soi, sweet salad turnips, rutabaga, sweet potatoes, radishes, green beans, carrots, Napa cabbage, spinach, herbs.
To sign up for a share, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with your desired share size ($350 or $500). You will receive a confirmation email, including details regarding payment. Please direct all inquiries to Farm Manager, Alex Sawatzky