Sprout is also a key component of the college’s sustainable agriculture curriculum led by Professor Eric Vukicevich and many students who are either taking his classes in the Botany Department or simply interested in helping out and learning how to farm. By working in this space, students develop a comprehensive understanding of food systems and small-scale agriculture that can prepare them for careers in farming, agricultural science, food justice, policy, community organizing, and so much more. On the farm, students explore sustainable soil management, integrated pest management tactics, season extension strategies, and wholesale distribution to the College’s dining and catering services.
Additionally, in 2020, the farm piloted its first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program in partnership with FRESH New London. The CSA program provides produce organically grown at Sprout and in downtown New London to 35 families in the surrounding community at sliding scale prices. Between June and October, CSA members receive a weekly share of at least 6 different veggies grown in Sprout or in the gardens at FRESH. During the first CSA season, Professor Vukicevich and a group of 4 student interns cultivated well over a ton of fresh produce for distribution to members and for sale at the Field of Greens Farmers Market in New London.