Sustainability

All Offices & Services

Organic Farm

The Organic Farm offers students, faculty and staff the opportunity to work as a community, working with the land and each other to grow and learn. 

Program: 

The Ursinus College Organic Farm is located on 2.5 acres of land on 9th Ave. right next to Hunsberger Woods.  We grow a wide variety of herbs, vegetables and fruit bearing bushes, including raspberries and blueberries.  We have 20 raised beds that are available to members of the Ursinus community to raise their own vegetables or flowers.  We also raise chickens and bees. 

Several classes visit the farm and tie it into the curriculum, giving students a chance to apply lessons learned in the classroom to an experiential learning experience.  We participate in the Collegeville Farmers’ Market and have a farm stand on campus during the growing season.

Get Involved!

Curriculum Several classes visit the farm and tie it into the curriculum, giving students a chance to apply lessons learned in the classroom to an experiential learning experience.  Whether they are talking about food justice, land management, biodiversity, ecology, or even animal rights - there are a variety of classes that utilize the farm as an outdoor educational space, while also giving students a stewardship opportunity.
Volunteer Each spring semester the seeds are planted, and students are able to take part in harvesting some of those crops the following fall semester.  For students who live on campus during the summer, they can volunteer at the farm and in return take home some of that day’s harvest.  Whether someone wants to work for hours in the dirt, run around with chickens or sit in one of the hammocks at the farm, all are welcome

History 

2015

Student Farm Co-Directors:Sydney Godbey and Alana Lorraine (both class of 2018)

Our new co-farm directors joined us in! January 2015.  We look forward to a productive year on the farm

2014

Student Farm Co-Directors: Axel Gonzalez and Grace Barter

Axel and Grace increased the frequency of the on campus Farm Stands. The farm began selling produce on a more regular basis to Sodexo, the campus dining services provider. They also expanded the vegetable growing space as the fruit trees were removed. This allowed the farm to extend the growing season into the fall and have a greater presence in the campus community. 

2013

Student Farm Director:  Dean Scott (2014-Biology); Farm Assistant: Rob Kelly; Beekeeper: Travis Maider

Dean led us in our first year of participation in the Collegeville Farmers’ Market and our first on-campus Farm Stands.  This year also marked the shift in oversight from the Environmental Studies Department to the Office of Sustainability.

2012

Student Farm Director: Travis Maider (2014-Chemistry)

Travis spearheaded our efforts to have community garden boxes and invited UC community members to come out and garden.  Travis also developed a strong interest in beekeeping!! 

2011

Student Farm Director: Julia Bull (2011-ENV) 

Julia worked with Urban Tree Connection, providing food to folks in Philadelphia.  We added bees while Julia was our farm director!  Many thanks to bee donor Sue King!! 

2008-

2009

Student Farm Director: Kyle Shelton (2011-ENV);  (honorary) Farm Assistant: Molly Divinney (2012-ENV)

During Kyle’s time as farm director, the farm partnered with Urban Tree Connection in Philadelphia to donate food grown on the farm to that organizations efforts.  Chickens were added to the farm during this time, donated by staff members Kelley and Jeff Williams. 

2006-

2007

Student Farm Director: Devyn Madsen (2009-ENV)

Devyn oversaw the doubling of the garden’s tilled area, adding another plot for tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuces, and other crops as well as a plot for raspberries. Bird houses and a picnic table were also added to the garden site.

2005

Student Farm Director: Katy Diana (2006 ENV)

A three-acre site across the street from campus, part of the former Hunsberger Estate, was selected for the garden.  A shed was purchased for the site and the first garden plots were tilled and planted by various members of the extended Ursinus community. Much of the produce grown during this season was provided to Ursinus College’s Dining Services.

Award:  Suburban Greening Award by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

2004 The Ursinus College Organic Farm was the brain child of Environmental Studies Professor Richard Wallace.  The idea of developed in an ENV capstone class and further developed by Dr. Wallace and ENV alumna Katy Diana (class of 2006).  Dr. Wallace worked on the project over a number of years with various student directors; Katy worked on it as her Summer Fellows project in 2004. 

Did you know:

We have 20 raised bed community boxes that are available to Ursinus community members. 

Let us know if you are interested in reserving a box for this coming growing season!

What are our former farm directors doing now?

  • Axel Gonzalez and Grace Barter are finishing up their Senior year at Ursinus.
  • Dean Scott is farming in central Pennsylvania.
  • Rob Kelly works as a greenhouse technician in California.
  • Travis Maider is in the Peace Corps in Senegal.
  • Julia Bull is working on a farm in the Philadelphia area.
  • Kyle Shelton is working in the agriculture industry in Florida.
  • Molly Devinney teaches about gardening & sustainability in Philadelphia.
  • Devyn Madsen works as an artist in California.
  • Katy Diana is a writer/editor in Philadelphia.