Homefield Farm is a partnership between Dining Services and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the only certified organic operation owned by a university in Virginia. The six-acre, student-run farm is located eight miles west of the Blacksburg campus and provides about 50,000 pounds of fresh produce to dining centers and Homefield’s farm stand on campus. The farm, along with a high tunnel at Virginia Tech’s Urban Horticulture Center, raises thirty varieties of vegetables, plus culinary herbs, flowers, and decorative pumpkins and gourds.
Homefield Farm also provides a unique opportunity for collaboration between students and Dining Services’ culinary staff to provide ingredients for popular dishes and events. For example, Homefield’s ingredients can be found at Farms, a sustainable dining venue in the Owens Food Court, Turner Place’s tomato bisque soup and pizza sauce, or the hot peppers used for the annual Chili Challenge at D2 in Dietrick Hall.
Meet Your Farmers
Alex Hessler, Farm Manager
Alex holds a M.S. in Integrated Plant and Soil Sciences from the University of Kentucky, and teaches the courses Sustainable Agriculture Practicum and Home Gardening in the Department of Horticulture. Alex has a passion for soil health, small farm mechanization, and getting students excited about growing and eating fresh, local vegetables.
Help support the mission of Homefield Farm by donating directly to the farm today through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Want to get involved?
Classes:The Sustainable Agriculture Practicum (HORT 2834) is taught during fall and spring semesters and provides hands-on experience managing a small-scale sustainable farm. Enrollment is open to all majors and has no pre-requisites.
The Farm Market Field Study (HORT 2964) is also taught each fall and offers instruction on the marketing and management of Homefield’s student-run farm stand. The weekly farm stand operates outside of the Turner Place dining center in Lavery Hall and sells organic produce and flowers grown at Homefield Farm.
Summer Farm Work: Dining Services hires several student employees to work at Homefield Farm each summer. Applications are accepted in the spring. Please contact email@example.com for more information.