Yale Sustainable Food Program

Teaching and Learning


 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

Ways we’ve engaged courses run the gamut of academic departments and disciplinary lenses. The table at the right illustrates some of the ways we’ve collaborated with Faculty members to bring texts and problems to life. A more in-depth course listing is available here.

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

Here are some of the courses that make up the fabric of our Farm-based pedagogy.

course title professordescription
WGSS 120: Women, Food and Culture Maria TrumplerCombined Yale Farm wheat with flatbread recipes from the Beinecke Library to bake proto-bread in the Yale Farm Pavilion oven.
ENAS 118: Introduction to Engineering, Innovation, & DesignEric DufresneUsed 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.
ECON 412: International Environmental EconomicsJoseph ShapiroAnalyzed the embedded carbon in our high tunnel poly covers, compared these metrics to the carbon burned in produce transport.
PSYC 200: Statistics for Psychology MajorsGregory Samanez-LarkinAnalyzed Yale Farm data sets (harvest data, farmers market sales data) and made real world recommendations to our farm managers based on the findings.
ANTH 271: Human EcologyBrian WoodParticipated 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.
ENGL 114: The Farm Bill and the Politics of AgricultureBarbara StuartObserved 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.
NTHL 125: Intensive Nahuatl Language Study ProgramJohn SullivanPerformed a Nahuatl corn planting ritual on the Yale Farm.
F&ES 765: Global Food SystemsGordon GeballeToured the Yale Farm high tunnels, learned about National Resource Conservation Service programs that make high tunnel funding available to small farmers.
CSYC 361: Approaches to Sustainable Food and AgricultureMark BomfordParticipated in soil management, nutrient cycling, sowing, propagating, and transplanting as part of an in-depth look at growing practices.
AMST 258: Wilderness in the North American ImaginationSigma ColonToured the gradient of wilderness and landscape manipulation that exists on an agricultural acre.
E&EB 145: Plants and PeopleLinda PuthToured and participated in the Yale Farm’s growing methods, including precision seeding, soil fertility management, flame weeding, small animal grazing, and drip irrigation installation.
HIST 128: Beer in American HistoryAllyson BrantleyVisited 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.
F&ES 722: Social Justice in the Food SystemKristin ReynoldsToured 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.
RUSS 250: Masterpieces of Russian LiteratureBella GrigoryanThreshed 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.
F&ES 709: Soil ScienceMark BradfordUsed 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.
CLCV 257: The Romans: A Cultural IntroductionNoel LenskiStudents 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.
LITR 245: Novels of Tolstoy and DostoevskyVladimir AlexandrovDiscussed 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).