Fairfield Farm & Food
The Hotchkiss School brings environmental education beyond the walls of the classroom with Fairfield Farm. In 2004, Hotchkiss purchased 260 acres of natural farmland located just a mile from campus. Six years later, we expanded the farm by adding an additional 27 acres of land as well as four buildings on the property. Over time, this expanse of acreage has become so much more than rugged farmland. It's become a thriving extension of our campus and a place for our community to explore, learn, and grow.
The farm is a source of inspiration for many classes and the hub of countless concerts, co-curricular activities, and School events. Our land also serves as an essential Dining Hall supplier, giving students the chance to actively participate in an ecologically grown farm-to-table experience.
Fairfield Farm is a labor of love and has been cared for by a number of talented and committed farm managers, educators, volunteers, and community members since its inception.
In 2020, we welcomed Amy Sidran as our new farm education coordinator. Amy works with Farm Manager Bridget Lawrence-Meigs, who joined the team in 2021, to connect more people at Hotchkiss and in the surrounding communities with the countless environmental and social issues linked to the food that nourishes us.
Fairfield Farm is an education-focused production farm that invites Hotchkiss students to work and learn on the land and become inspired to contribute to a food system that is sustainable and equitable for all living things.
We seek to cultivate a sustainable and equitable future for our students and community by:
- Creating a safe, inclusive space where students learn new skills, take risks, and contribute to a meaningful harvest.
- Nourishing minds and bodies through partnerships with the Hotchkiss Dining Hall and local community organizations.
- Cultivating experiential and place-based learning opportunities that promote academic investigation, research, and engagement.
- Acknowledging and celebrating our shared and diverse relationships with food and the land while engaging with the complex issues surrounding historic and contemporary food culture, equity, access, and social justice.
- Stewarding the natural resources of the farm’s ecosystem to grow healthy food while improving soil health through regenerative practices such as cover cropping, composting, and low-till practices to help mitigate climate change.
Completed in spring 2015, the Grange stores the farm’s 23,000-plus pounds of produce and provides an ideal setting for student and faculty retreats, class reunions, and outdoor concerts in the summer. The building includes a teaching kitchen for cooking classes, a processing space for farm produce, and a magnificent porch. In 2019, the Grange received a National Design Award from the Society of American Registered Architects.