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Student Sustainable Farm at Rutgers
About Our Farm

About the Student Sustainable Farm at Rutgers

Directions: Our farm is located on Ryders Lane in East Brunswick, about 2 miles from the intersection of Routes 18 & 1. Use "69 Ryders Lane" as the address for online maps or GPS. The entrance to the farm is across the road from Salt Meadow Road. Follow the driveway all the way to the back to the pickup shed. Please drive SLOWLY through the farm!

We operate on the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model. Families and households purchase a "share" in the farm at the start of the season – investing in the farming skills of the students – and receive a weekly share of each week's harvest.

The Student Sustainable Farm provides Rutgers University / School of Environmental and Biological Sciences students with paid summer internships and hands-on experience in the production and management of a small organic farm.

Each season, 4-6 student interns cultivate and maintain five acres of land on the G. H. Cook campus of Rutgers University. The farm is located off Ryders Lane in New Brunswick. They manage all aspects of the farm, providing food for the "shareholders" and coordinating donations and deliveries of surplus produce with Elijah's Promise Soup Kitchen in New Brunswick. It is a challenging job that offers a wealth of experiential learning to all students participating in the growing season.

How Our Farm Operates

Shares are sold in April/May of each year. Harvests start in June and run through August; with pickup days on Thursdays and Fridays. The interns post a list of how much of each vegetable is in that week's share, and each shareholder assembles his/her share from the produce in the coolers. Excess produce is delivered to Elijah's Promise Soup Kitchen in New Brunswick.

In addition, the interns publish our weekly newsletter, The Cover Crop, containing notes about the farm, information about vegetables, recipes, and other information.

The advisor to The Student Sustainable Farm at Rutgers is Dr. Edward Durner. Ed coordinates efforts between the students, Rutgers University and shareholders. He provides initial training for all interns in the use and maintenance of our farming equipment. In addition, he meets weekly with student interns to discuss the work needed to keep the farm running smoothly. He is responsible for the management of farm finances including collection of shareholder fees, hiring of interns, purchase of materials and financial reporting.

About Organic Farming

Organic farming is more than just foregoing chemical pesticides, herbicides, and other petroleum-based products such as most commercial fertilizers. Organic farming requires an understanding of natural ecosystems that includes pest-plant relationships and soil ecology. With techniques like crop rotation, cover cropping, and inter-planting, organic farming attempts to mimic natural systems more closely to produce healthy crops in a practical and sustainable way. The best information often comes from experienced people, and shareholders are encouraged to share their knowledge with, or ask questions of our interns.

Connections to Community

The purpose of our CSA is to supply produce not only to our shareholders, but also to other members of the community. This is done through a number of outlets. The Bonner Foundation, a Princeton-based private foundation, purchases shares each year for distribuation to low income people. Another portion of our harvest is distributed to the New Brunswick soup kitchen, Elijah's Promise, each week. Occasionally, surplus produce is also sent to other charitable organizations. Student interns also grow seedlings for children's gardening programs here in New Brunswick.