Fruits and vegetables are produced by the Farm’s horticulture enterprise, also known as the College Gardens and Greenhouse. This part of the Farm began its transition to organic management in 1998 and all of its produce is now USDA Certified Organic. We educate students by actively engaging them in all aspects of organic production, from planning to marketing and selling. The enterprise includes seedling and houseplant propagation in the greenhouse, as well as the production of a wide variety of vegetables and small fruits in fields and unheated high tunnels.
Crops include blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, a wide selection of greens, summer and winter squash, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, herbs, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips, and others. Some open pollinated varieties of plants are grown to produce seeds for sale to the small seed company, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. Students and staff at the Gardens and Greenhouse have been actively involved in research aimed at improving organic crop production, including salad greens and potatoes. Fertility for our production is provided primarily through the use of compost generated from pre- and post-consumer food waste collected from campus, and by the use of crop rotation and cover crops.
Plants and produce are marketed at the Berea College Farm Store and the College’s dining hall. We collaborate with local organizations to host tours and workshops to inform and support our local community.