Students tending Wesleyan’s Long Lane Farm are now selling their produce at a weekly farmers’ market. Long Lane Farm was founded in 2003 by a group of students seeking to provide a practical solution to local hunger problems and build a strong connection with the Wesleyan and Middletown communities. Seven student summer interns currently run the farm.
From 3 to 5 p.m. every Tuesday, members of the Wesleyan community can purchase freshly harvested vegetables and other garden goodies at the farm, located at 243 Long Lane. Pictured are turnips for sale at the June 20 market.
Vegetables include kale, chard, cabbage, collards, turnips, radishes, garlic scapes, spinach, herbs, arugula flowers, dandelion jelly and more.
In 2016, 34 percent of the food produced at the farm was sold at farmers’ markets. Twenty percent of the foot was donated, and about 44 percent of the food was used by Wesleyan’s dining services.
In 2016, the farm harvested 1,232 pounds of tomatoes. The vegetables won’t be ripe this summer until mid to late July.
Garlic scapes are removed in June to encourage the bulbs to thicken. Scapes are the flower bud of the garlic plant and provide a mild garlic and onion flavor used for cooking.
Eleven domesticated Indian runner ducks keep the farmers company while they’re tending the gardens.
Garlic, onions, carrots and beets are grown in the farm’s plot C.
Jen Kleindienst, sustainability director; Long Lane Farm summer intern Alea Laidlaw ’20; and Sandy Durosier, area coordinator in Residential Life, discuss gardening at the Farmer’s Market. Durosier purchased kale, scapes, radishes and turnips and used the produce to make kale chips, as well as beef stew with radishes, carrots and turnips. “I really liked trying out a new vegetable (scapes) that I have never heard of or seen before. I’m looking forward to buying more veggies from Long Lane and finding recipes to use with the ingredients,” she said.
Anika Dane, administrative assistant for the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, shops for dandelion jelly with her skeptical daughters, Kerste and Aeris. “Aeris confirms the jelly tastes like honey,” Dane said.
Tomatoes, green beans, carrots, beets (pictured), peppers, corn, squash, cucumbers, pumpkins and other vegetables will be harvested as they ripen.
The farm’s sole cherry tree produced a few handfuls of berries for the June 27 market. Market-goers were welcome to sample the first pick of the season.
Guests peruse the Farmers’ Market on June 27.
This type of turnip, which was for sale at the June 27 market, must be cooked, whereas the plain white turnip can go directly on salads.
Mint, sage and lavender also are grown at the farm and sold at the market.
Most root vegetables, like these turnips, are grown in the same plot.
A new garden map shows what’s being grown and where.
Brien Bradley ’19 adds trellises to tomato plants to help them grow in plot B. Students tend about two acres of land at the farm. In addition to the farmers’ markets, the interns host the Community Food Project from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday at the farm. Local children and their families are welcome to come to the farm to learn about sustainable farming practices. (Photos by Olivia Drake)