ENSP 440: Sustainable Agriculture

There’s nothing like getting your hands dirty. Actually, there’s nothing like dunking your hands into a bucket of soil to plant a seed that will one day end up on your very own plate.

Did you know that William & Mary’s Environmental Science and Policy department offers a Sustainable Agriculture class where students experience all the magic that happens on an organic farm? Thanks to Charlie Maloney, who owns Dayspring Farm and teaches the class, students get the opportunity to work on a local organic farm. This semester, I am lucky enough to get to spend every Monday afternoon working on his farm. We work in his greenhouse and on his fields, learning about each step of growing organic vegetables. Delicious vegetables.

But, in this class, Charlie teaches you so much more than how to grow your own food. He teaches his students to think about their food through the works of Wendell Berry and Michael Pollan. How we eat does not only affect our bodies, how we eat affects the world.  The impacts of intensive industrial agriculture are detrimental to the environment and the rural economy. Consumers need to be aware of this before they buy into that system. I have always been interested in the environmental and health impacts of my food, but before this class I was unaware of how few of my peers actually understand where their food comes from. People have become detached from what they put into their bodies which is both unhealthy and unsustainable. This class has been eyeopening and I suggest everyone interested take it during their time at William & Mary.

This summer, after I graduate, I will be spending three weeks working on an organic farm in France through a program called WWOOF. I hope my experience at Dayspring Farm and in France will give me a greater understanding of sustainable food systems that I can use to help teach others about the consequences of what they are eating.

Swiss Chard from Dayspring Farm to my plate:


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1 Comment
  1. Beverly Peterson

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