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The Bard College Farm


♪ ♪ ♪ [Carter Vanderbilt:] Without student interest the farm never would have happened. A number of students got together and basically tabled for
three weeks to get not just the money for the project but also to demonstrate that this was a thing that students really were backing and really wanted to
happen at Bard. [John-Paul Silva:] The farm was the means to get that introduction of what it means,
what it tastes like, to have food that’s cut in the morning and then served in
the afternoon or evening. That whole idea of taking the farm and putting the table
close by, and learning the culture and getting to know the people that
produce it is really one of the fundamental ideas that we had when we
thought of the farm. [Carter Vanderbilt:] Students plant the food, we nurture the food, we pick the
food, we wash the food, we put it in the crate that goes to our dining hall, and
then students walk in and put it on their plate and consume it. [John-Paul Silva:] That whole process of planting and understanding how it’s distributed and being so much more
connected to it I think really plays on the idea of being a conscious citizen
that participates in everyday food buying. ♪ ♪ ♪ My own opinion is, a liberal arts
college would be interested in democracy: go out and vote, vote for people that
create policies that have an influence on human rights, that have an influence on
how people get resources and how people interact and how people can live their lives. ♪ ♪ ♪ [Carter Vanderbilt:] The Bard Food Initiative was an idea that spawned itself from the farm—that if we bring more local food not only from our
campus but from the surrounding area we could really start having a dialogue
about, what food are we buying that’s going to dramatically affect the food of
the future? So we began talking with the administrators of Chartwells: how can we
shift the dollars—we currently buy from places like Tyson, big factory farms—to
our backyard, to the Hudson Valley, and to other organic and humane and fair-trade sources? We have a number of meals a semester where students prepare the food for other students, and we really get to see
how we use the farm food, so it gives it another layer that we wouldn’t normally get. I honestly had not done anything even remotely on the scale of what I’ve
done with the farm before I came to Bard. It was really an eye-opener to my own
ability to help lead projects like this and make big things happen. ♪ ♪ ♪

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