Yale Sustainable Food Program


The Yale Sustainable Food Program works with Yale Faculty in a number of ways to support their efforts in teaching and research in food systems topics. For interested faculty members, we can offer the following levels of academic and on-farm support:

  • Use our farm sites as an on-site classroom
  • Use the Yale Farm and Yale Landscape Lab as living laboratories to investigate specific issues 
  • Work with our staff to support your research and teaching objectives

Examples of Teaching and Research Support:

Women, Food and Culture (WGSS 120) Maria Trumpler

Combined Yale Farm wheat with flatbread recipes from the Beinecke Library to bake proto-bread in the Yale Farm Pavilion oven.

Introduction to Engineering, Innovation, & Design (ENAS 118) Professor Eric Dufresne

Used the Yale Farm as a client for engineering problems. Notable designs: rodent-proof chicken feeder, temperature/humidity sensors inside and outside of high tunnels, time-lapse photography.

International Environmental Economics (ECON 412b) Professor Joseph Shapiro

Analyzed the embedded carbon in our high tunnel poly covers, compared these metrics to the carbon burned in produce transport.

Statistics for Psychology Majors (PSYC 200) Professor Gregory Samanez-Larkin

Analyzed Yale Farm data sets (harvest data, farmers market sales data) and made real world recommendations to our farm managers based on the findings.

Human Ecology (ANTH 271) Professor Brian Wood 

Participated in cover cropping and observed Yale Farm perennial planting strategies on the berms. One student performed an ethnographic study on Yale Farm volunteer workday culture.

The Farm Bill and the Politics of Agriculture (ENGL 114) Professor Barbara Stuart 

Observed the Yale Farm’s growing methods, paying particular attention to nutrient cycles between the farm site and the Long Island Sound (the Yale Farm’s kelp program) and NRCS funding used to procure a high tunnel.

Intensive Nahuatl Language Study Program (NTHL S125) Professor John Sullivan

           Performed a Nahuatl corn planting ritual on the Yale Farm.

Global Food Systems  (F&ES 765) Professor Gordon Geballe

Toured the Yale Farm high tunnels, learned about National Resource Conservation Service programs that make high tunnel funding available to small farmers.

Approaches to Sustainable Food and Agriculture (CSYC 342) Professor Mark Bomford

Participated in soil management, nutrient cycling, sowing, propagating, and transplanting as part of an in-depth look at growing practices.

Wilderness in the North American Imagination (AMST 258) Professor Sigma Colon

Toured the gradient of wilderness and landscape manipulation that exists on an agricultural acre.

Plants and People (E&EB 145) Professor Linda Puth

Toured and participated in the Yale Farm’s growing methods, including precision seeding, soil fertility management, flame weeding, small animal grazing, and drip irrigation installation.

Beer in American History (HIST 128J) Professor Allyson Brantley

Visited the Yale Farm hops operation, learned about hops management from a grower’s perspective, paired this perspective with the social/political approaches to hops during Prohibition.

Social Justice in the Food System (F&ES 722a) Professor Kristin Reynolds

Toured the Yale Farm with Mark Bomford and Jeremy Oldfield, who focused on the strategies and limitations of urban agriculture as they play out on the Old Acre. Used the Yale Farm as a case study for urban farm economics and asked questions about where urban agriculture fits – and where it does not fit – in addressing problems of urban food distribution.

Masterpieces of Russian Literature I (RUSS 250) Professor Bella Grigoryan

Threshed and winnowed Yale Farm-grown Ukranika wheat by hand for an experiential grounding in the agricultural work described in Anna Karenina. Compared pre-mechanized threshing experience with video footage of mechanized threshing processes that were just taking hold in the timeframe depicted in Anna Karenina.

Soil Science (F&ES 709) Professor Mark Bradford

Used two soil pits to examine soil horizons on the Yale Farm and just uphill from the Yale Farm. Used the horizon lines to discuss land management history and glacial history on and around the Yale Farm.

The Romans: A Cultural Introduction (CLCV 257 / HUMS 246) Professor Noel Lenski

Students baked laganum, a focaccia-like product with sweet and savory toppings popular in ancient Rome. The class toured Yale Farm beehives, asparagus beds, and wheat beds with Mark Bomford, who discussed the agricultural approaches essential for empire building.

Novels of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky (LITR 245/RUSS 254/RSEE 254) Professor Vladimir Alexandrov

Discussed The Brothers Karamazov in the Yale Farm Pavilion before venturing into the allium field to gain first-hand experience cultivating onions (a crop rich in symbolism in Dostoevsky’s novel).

Contact us:

If you are interested in exploring an academic collaboration, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with Jeremy Oldfield.