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Spring at Fairfield Farm

Spring at Fairfield Farm

Spring at Fairfield Farm


Remy Lee ’26 and Solbee Kang ’23 harvested vegetables last fall with FFEAT.

Contributing Writer

April 13, 2023

Clemmie Morlock '26

Situated a mile away from the central campus, Fairfield Farm is a valuable resource for the school community. The 287-acre space not only produces food served in the Dining Hall and local area, but hosts classes and events.

The farm has been a fixture of Hotchkiss for almost 20 years. In 2004, Hotchkiss purchased 260 acres of farmland. Six years later, the property was expanded by 27 acres and the addition of four buildings. The space has since grown to be a thriving extension of campus.

Fairfield Farm is a production farm with a unique focus on education. Students and faculty have opportunities to learn and engage with it in several ways. FFEAT, the Fairfield Farm Ecology and Adventure Team, is a co-curricular program offered in the fall and spring seasons. Students on FFEAT harvest produce in the fall, prepare the soil for planting in the spring, care for chickens and cows, and maintain farm structures.

The farm supplies 30% of the produce served in the Dining Hall during the fall season and 7% of the produce served over the course of the academic year. Additional produce also goes to the Millerton food bank.

Maddie Lykouretzos ’23 has enjoyed FFEAT since her prep year and was a co-captain this past fall. She said, “My role as a FFEAT leader is to set Spring at Fairfield Farm a good example and make sure everyone knows what they are doing, as it is very important we get the job done right.”

The school ties in a number of its courses with the farm, as well. Prep classes visit the farm in the fall and spring to reflect on the essential questions of the Humanities program, math classes visit to solve problems with real-world measurements, and art classes go to sketch the landscape.

Additionally, the Sustainable Food Systems course uses the farm to connect coursework with real-life examples. Fairfield Farm educational coordinator Ms. Amy Sidran said, “At the farm, we give opportunities to all students to truly engage with nature.”

Many school events are held at the farm, including the Fairfield Farm Festival that takes place in the fall, a variety of cooking classes, special workshops, and Senior Dance.

Ms. Bridget Lawrence-Meigs, Fairfield Farm manager, said, “[At] this time of year, we’re doing a lot of preparation to ensure the coming season is efficient. We’re cleaning areas, organizing areas, making sure we are starting with a nice clean slate.” Ms. Lawrence-Meigs is excited for FFEAT’s spring work, including preparing soil by making beds and spreading compost, and planting and labeling seeds when the weather allows. She is looking forward to growing some new vegetables, including new varieties of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants.

She also wants to try some new automation watering methods in the greenhouse. She said, “I always get excited to plant things that add color and bring in the pollinators. The farm is connected to the ecosystem and is seen as a living entity, not just as producing food or being a place where programs are run.”

The school community has the unique experience of living in the midst of a rural area. Not only do we have Fairfield Farm, but also 827 acres of woods, fields and farmlands, and Lake Wononscopomuc. Boris Branis ’23, FFEAT co-captain, said “The outdoors at Hotchkiss are a nice juxtaposition to the academic pressure of school. They give a sort of respite from the tumult.”

Ms. Sidran believes Hotchkiss provides the opportunity to “authentically interact with nature as opposed to being a bystander.”

Clemmie Morlock is a contributing writer for The Record.

September 28th

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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