The original Guilford College Farm was an integral part of the institution at the time of its founding by the Society of Friends (Quakers) in the then-rural New Garden community in Guilford County, North Carolina in 1837. The farm was important to the college community’s survival and sustenance through both the Civil War and the Great Depression. The adjacent woodlands served as an important site of refuge for enslaved persons seeking freedom through the Underground Railroad network, and provisions from the farm nourished freedom seekers along this journey. In the early 20th century, the farm was focused heavily on dairy production, though vegetable crops and orchard products were important as well. Following national trends of a contracting agricultural sector during and after WWII, the Guilford College Farm stopped its historic operations in 1943.
In 2011, a select group of faculty and staff were determined to revive the college farm, as both a productive unit of campus and the central node for the development of associated curricular programs in environmental & sustainability studies and sustainable food systems. In the farm’s second life, it has grown to include several ancillary programs, including a CSA, a mobile market, community garden development partnerships, and educational programming and support. The Guilford College Farm has also been committed to regionally-adapted, heritage and heirloom varieties through most of its current era of operation. Current efforts include active seed conservation, rematriation, and education, focusing especially on the multicultural expressions of both the historic and contemporary Southeast.
maize, collards, pulses (cowpeas, common beans, lima beans, soybean, pigeon peas, black gram), okra, peanuts, sesame, grain amaranth, sorghum, chili peppers, African eggplant, tree crops