Our mission at WheaFarm is to educate ourselves and our community about the impacts of global food systems, as well as the benefits of local and sustainable food production. This mission currently has three parts: cultivation and redistribution of fresh produce, student programming and community education. Students involved in WheaFarm gain first-hand knowledge of the time, energy, and resources that a sustainable growing operation requires, as well as contextual knowledge about how the global food system works.
During our growing season WheaFarm brings fresh produce to the Norton & Mansfield Farmer's Markets, donates to the Cupboard of Kindness (Norton's Food Pantry), and distributes vegetables to students on campus. As we expand our growing operation we look forward to partnering with the dining halls to promote local agriculture and reach more students across campus.
During the academic year, we engage fellow Wheaton students in our work. This includes preparing our beds for winter, cooking with harvested produce, volunteering at Crystal Springs Farm in Plainville, MA, screening pertinent documentaries, and more. Known as "Farm Club Fridays", these afternoons are spent with groups of 10-20 students, and allow everyone to play a role in helping WheaFarm to succeed.
The most effective way to create change is to educate our future community leaders. We are very lucky to be close to two great organizations that have partnered with WheaFarm since its inception: Head Start of Norton, and the Elisabeth W. Amen Nursery School. Thus far, we have built and maintained raised beds at Head Start, led tours of the Wheaton Greenhouse and the WheaFarm gardens, and organized hands-on planting afternoons.
Since the first raised beds were built and seeds were planted in the spring of 2015, dedicated students have worked year-round to expand our growing operation, working full and part-time jobs during the summer while also dedicating hours towards the development and maintenance of the farm. Students involved with WheaFarm are independent, creative thinkers who see food systems as an answer to strengthening community, but we need your help to ensure that -- as the student body turns over year after year -- future WheaFarm members will have a stable pool of resources to help them sustain and push the development of WheaFarm even further.
Garden infrastructure (fencing and netting for protection against pests)
Maintenance of diverse eco-system, starting with nutrient rich soil!
Building a pergola
Art Installations and continued development of an outdoor classroom
Implementation of a year-round hydroponics system
Making the farm more pollinator-friendly
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