Scene on Campus

Green lab

Farming on Yale’s western frontier.

Mark Ostow

Mark Ostow

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Yale’s West Campus Urban Farm has a small footprint—just half an acre in crops—and an ambitious agenda. “We grow lots of wonderful food” for the West Campus (a Bayer property bought by Yale in 2007), says the manager, Justin Freiberg ’10MESc. But this farm, he stresses, is also an academic operation.

Undergraduates Jackie Raines ’16 (left), an environmental studies major, and Vanessa Noelte ’16 (right), a history of medicine major, interned on the farm this summer. Midwifery nursing students have been doing an independent study there on traditional and alternative medicines and nutrition for expectant mothers. And the farm is used as a living laboratory by students at the Center for Molecular Discovery and the Center for Engineering Innovation and Design; students at the latter have used it to test prototype tools designed for small New England and African farms.

Freiberg, who also manages the West Campus sustainability projects, is now exploring the educational potential of the 30 acres of adjacent green space. Recently, he’s been looking into a maple sugar operation.

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