Every Thursday from 12 to 5 pm from June to October, visitors to the Campus Center will be met by tables loaded with fresh produce, jam, honey, and other Bard-harvested treats. This is the Bard College Farm Stand, and it does more than provide fresh, quality food to the Bard community. The Bard farm employs 50 student workers, 6 of whom work at the stand.
“The food speaks for itself,” says John Paul J. Silva, the farmer coordinator of the Bard College Farm and Farm Stand. “Most of it is picked the morning of the stand.”
Produce for sale differs from season to season. “Pretty diverse,” says Silva of the selection. It includes more conventional products like tomatoes, leafy greens, jalapeños, honey, and potatoes, but also more surprising fare such as orange-fleshed watermelons, arm-sized zucchinis, and winter squash that looks like the pumpkin’s pale younger sibling. With the exception of some blueberries and strawberries from local Greig Farm and Mead Orchard, everything sold at the stand comes from the Bard Farm.
Silva explains how the prices at the stand have to be a little higher to off-set the cheap prices the farm offers to Kline Dining Hall. Most of the farm’s produce goes to Kline, but Kline also buys from big farms that can offer low prices. “Being a little farm competing against mega-farms, we have to charge comparable prices,” says Silva.
Even so, the prices at the stand are quite reasonable. Most products are priced at one to three dollars.
Silva emphasized what it means to have fresh, local food visible and available on campus. “For a lot of people [the stand] is an introduction to this kind of food, so culturally it’s very important.”
Bardians have two more weeks to take advantage of this tasty campus treasure.