Growing food is not just a business at the Davidson College Farm, it’s a form of art. Everyone involved with the Farm will tell you there’s something special about digging your hands in the earth and seeing all your hard work pay off as seeds grow into nourishing and healthy food. The Davidson student body also benefits from the food grown at the Farm because everything grown is sold and served at Vail Commons. Costs of operations are entirely covered by the food produced and sold, ensuring the Farm imposes no additional costs on the school. Davidson College acquired the Farm in 2008 and ever since then Theresa Allen, the Farm Manager, and a team of dedicated students work every day to keep the Farm running smoothly and to deliver healthy, clean, and local food.

Contact

Theresa Allen
Davidson College Farm Manager
1603 Grey Road, Davidson, NC 28036
704-430-8687
Thallen@davidson.edu

Green Practices

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    Eggshells from Vail Commons are used in compost.

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    Use Davidson College compost from bins in the Union.

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    Seed Saving

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    Use solar panels to power the electric fence that keeps deer out of the garden.

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    Use drip irrigation to save water.

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    Leaves from campus are used in compost.

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    Coffee grounds from S&D Coffee and Dunkin Donuts are spread on the soil to boost nitrogen content.

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    Use retired equipment from Physical Plant to save money on equipment purchases and opens space in storage. Equipment includes: pick up truck, gator, tractor, and motor.

Research

Dr. Stanback
Biology Department (Ornithology)

Dr. Stanback and his students monitor nest boxes throughout the Davidson area, including the Davidson Farm. They conducted several experiments with bluebirds In 2015. In one, they added wooden eggs (painted either blue to look like a bluebird egg or tan speckled to look like a parasitic brown-headed cowbird egg) to bluebird nests to test whether bluebirds alter their incubation to lower the hatching success of cowbird eggs. Bluebirds that remove cowbird eggs run the risk of having their nest destroyed by retaliating cowbirds. Stanback and his students also used chickadee nests at the Farm to test whether birds in more vulnerable nest boxes lay fewer eggs.

To find out more contact the Davidson College Sustainability Office

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Fuji Lozada
Anthropology Department

ANT 267: “Food and Sustainability”. Past projects have incorporated Vermicomposting and Hydroponics through a class.

To find out more contact the Davidson College Sustainability Office

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Dr. Paradise
Biology Department (Ecology)

For some classes, students are brought to the Farm to study honey bees and other pollinators. Previously, a pair of students studied insect biodiversity in grass-fed cattle farms and the farm was one of the study sites; the research from this study has been published.

For more information:

Check out Dr. Paradise's website!

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Brad Johnson
(Environmental Studies Professor/advisor)

Lydia McAliley’s (student) capstone investigated whether high tunnels affect soil invertebrate communities, a good soil quality indicator. McAliley found that high tunnels do not alter the invertebrate community.

To find out more contact the Davidson College Sustainability Office

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Matt Brantley
Student, Class of 2016

Environmental capstone: Squash bugs are a major pest of cucurbit plants across North America and can destroy plantings if they are not managed properly. Matt is studying the effectiveness of two organic pest control methods (trap cropping and floating row covers) on reducing squash bug populations on yellow summer squash plants, as well as if either method has an effect on yield or pollinator populations.

To find out more contact the Davidson College Sustainability Office

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Dr. Smith
Biology Department

BIO 227: “Conservation Bio/Biodiversity”

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Dr. Hauser
Chemistry Department

CHE 372: “Environmental Chemistry”

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Press