What is the UVM Common Ground Farm?

During those early months of the academic year, wafts of horseshit and other delicious olfactory smells take over the UVM campus. Many people assume that this aroma is simply an inevitable characteristic of Vermont considering the massive presence of agriculture within the state.

However, there is more to the story than that. Let me enlighten you, my manure infested comrades; this savory spice you are granted with during the fall and spring seasons is the gift of our very own on-campus farm.

The official name of this organization is The Common Ground Student-Run Educational Farm, which is located a bit south of athletic campus on Spear Street.

Here’s some quick history to assist in understanding the function and goals of this club.

In the Spring semester of 1994 the Common Ground Agricultural Club decided to organize their focus on campus to four main points: committing to writing a weekly “green column” for the Cynic, bringing locally grown food to campus, planning field trips to farms within the state, and finally to develop a student run farm. By January of 1998 Common Ground was recognized by SGA as a not-for-profit educational organization.

Currently, this consortium is organized and run by students, with the assistance of faculty advisors. The main goals of the farm currently are quite far-reaching and community oriented.

First off, the farm seeks to provide hands on education in growing veggies, fruits, herbs, and flowers on a commercial scale.

In addition, an aggressive effort is dedicated to creating a stronger link between UVM and the greater Burlington community. In working towards this goal, 50% of the farm’s produce is donated to emergency food providers like Chittenden Country Emergency Food Shelf, Burlington Salvation Army, and Meals on Wheels.

Finally, the farm wishes to support those who financially aid the farm, by providing an allocation of fresh veggies to shareholders. To become a shareholder one can own a regular share, which provides 12 weeks of produce from mid-June into September, or obtain an extended share, which is offered in one lump sum in early October.

To become a member of Common Ground the best place to start would be attending meetings on Monday nights at 5PM located in Hills building, room 19A. This organization provides summer internships, work-study jobs, and other student involvement opportunities. Pay some respect to our UVM run farm, because clearly we all love to eat good food!