My philosophy is: Fail early, so you can eventually succeed.
The NMH farm is a small, diversified operation that has been a part of school life since 1879.
The farm is where many of our most cherished values — curiosity, hard work, creativity, and stewardship — come together. It’s a science lab, a work project, the source of delicious fresh food for our dining hall, and even a place to practice a bit of entrepreneurship.
We grow greens, vegetables, and herbs, and make apple cider, jams, and maple products. Many of the vegetables go to the dining hall. But maple sugaring is our largest endeavor. Over spring break we collect thousands of gallons of sap from our own maple trees and boil it down to syrup, which we sell, along with other farm products, to raise funds for the school.
Each term, roughly 30 students spend about four hours per week at the farm as part of their workjob requirement. Their duties might include harvesting greens, pressing apples for cider, cleaning horse stalls, cutting wood, building fences, or making jam. Students also can sign up to work on our sugaring operation for a six-day stretch over spring break. That’s eight to 12 hours a day, collecting sap and making maple syrup, and it fulfills the work requirement for either the entire winter or spring term.
NMH Farm Facts
- The farm includes a student-built greenhouse, a sugar house, and a cider house.
- 30 students work on the farm each term.
- 20,000 gallons of sap are collected to make approximately 500 gallons of maple syrup each year.
- 2,000 gallons of cider are pressed annually.
- 750 quarts of strawberries are harvested.
- 8 cords of wood are burned in our reverse osmosis machine during the sugaring season (this is down from the 36 cords required to fuel the evaporator, previously used for boiling down maple sap to make syrup.)
- One half acre is devoted to lavender flowers, which are harvested each summer to make hand cream, lip balm, and soon - soap.
- All the compost used is generated right here on the farm.
- Herbs, for cooking in the dining hall and for sale at the farm store.
- Flowers, for cutting – mostly used as decoration and centerpieces at events, such as Commencement Eve dinner.
- Lots of veggies! Most will go to the dining hall but some will be for sale in the farm store for in-person purchasing: salad greens, micro greens, arugula, spinach tomatoes , peppers, tomatillos, kale, swiss chard, beets, broccoli, cabbage, collards, head lettuce, radishes, green beans, sugar snap peas, carrots, sweet corn, cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe, eggplant, fennel, leeks, shallots, parsnips, potatoes, butternut and delicata squash, pumpkins, zucchini, sweet potatoes, asparagus, and strawberries.