The goal of the student led Food Forest is for students to use it as a living classroom that provides the opportunity for hands on learning in perennial agriculture, as a demonstration of various regenerative farming methods, and a living botanical guide of useful perennial plants appropriate for New England. The Food Forest will contain established perennial polycultures that students can observe, and it will also contain underdeveloped areas for future students to design and implement their own ideas. We envision the Food Forest as an important reference point not just for Stockbridge Students but also for inter-disciplinary research for students and faculty from environmental science and natural resource conservation programs.
The area has perennial polycultures around existing berries and trees on the 3/4 acre site. Trees are planted throughout the site and it intended that as these trees grow there will be spaces for future students to plan and implement polycultures around the trees as part of the Permaculture Class or a potential Edible Forest Garden class. To ensure the sustainability of this project the student leadership team is connecting with multiple other entities throughout the university. Prime among these will be working with the permaculture class on edible forest gardens that each year will foster a core group of students to facilitate workdays, document, write grants, and do the majority of maintenance and design. With a strong social organization, this project will continue for a very long period of time, and inspire many future projects, farms, and research.