How much do we think about the food we eat and where it comes from? What does it take for our meals to make it to our plates? How do we prepare and share it? Explore what’s in our farm fields, at our grocery stores, and on our plates through two weeks of hands-on interdisciplinary learning in Farm to Fork.

Over the course of twelve days you will:

  • Help manage COA’s livestock operation, including pastured poultry and rotational grazing systems
  • Follow and document the path of meals from producer to plate
  • Work alongside and interview local farmers, gardeners, and fishermen
  • Study the political, ecological, and cultural significance of different food systems and dig deeper into what the future of food might look like
  • Explore food culture while collaborating to create, investigate, and enjoy group meals
  • Read and discuss food-related literature and other written works, including science, ethnography, and history
  • Create original written and visual work that celebrates food, using original research and personal inspiration and celebrating food
  • Challenge yourself, both intellectually and personally, through hands-on group experiences, study, and reflection
Program Overview

Housed at College of the Atlantic’s oceanfront Bar Harbor campus, students will spend each day exploring the local food systems around Mount Desert Island. 

Most mornings will begin with either livestock chores on COA’s Peggy Rockefeller Farms, where we grow pastured poultry and rotationally graze our flock of sheep, or helping to harvest and pack produce for daily markets at COA’s Beech Hill Farm. Afternoons, students will take field trips to local farms and food producers where they will study the details of producing a range of food products, from an organic dairy, to a diversified farm using draft horses, to a sustainable fishery. This immersion into the Maine farm and food community, complete with shared meals, will help students understand the interconnections of the varied parts.

Throughout the program, students will engage with College of the Atlantic faculty and staff to investigate traditional food systems, confront the challenges of industrial agriculture, and explore long-term sustainable models for food production. Through intensive research, writing, and frequent community conversations, students will examine their personal understanding of food systems and work together as a team to develop a multimedia presentation to share with their professors, peers, and the public at the end of the session. 

3.3 Semester Credits