The Outback Farm is the oldest program of Fairhaven College, started 50 years ago as a unique and diverse setting for hands-on development of students’ skills that lead to both self-resilience and professional opportunities.
We teach permaculture and are home to community gardens, chickens, crop production rows, beehives, mushroom cultivation, and a food forest. Because we're focused on food justice and community care, everything we grow and raise is distributed to Western students facing food insecurity!
We’re a student-driven program with a small staff of part-time student employees, a half-time Farm Manager, and lots of volunteers. We host about a dozen courses and 10 workshops a year - plus the Outback serves as a safe space for clubs, classes, and individuals to meet, study, learn, and relax. Our program welcomes all students to develop a sense of place during their college years and engage in ecosystem restoration, community building, and food justice.
The Outback was recently named one of the top college farms in America by College Ranker and provides opportunities for our student-driven experimentation, learning, reflection, advocacy, and agriculture. Please support our mission to serve the Western community and provide students a fun, experiential way to get involved in their own food system.
Through contributions like yours we can:
- Bring speakers and workshop leaders for hands-on learning
- Offer justice-focused events, trainings, and food advocacy opportunities
- Properly wash and package Outback veggies, fruit, berries, nuts, microgreens, mushrooms, honey, and eggs to feed students facing food insecurity
- Take care of our beloved chickens, who require daily feeding, infrastructure upgrades, and occasional vet services
- Build additional bee hives to accommodate our growing colonies
- Purchase enough protective bee suits that all our interested students can safely participate
- Continue our supply of wood chips, trellis, building materials, and tools
- Print and distribute empowering information on growing, harvesting, preparing, and cooking farm-fresh ingredients
As we celebrate 50 years of farming in this historic and unique campus setting we look ahead to the next 50 years and the generations of students that will come learn and grow in the outback farm.
The farm serves all of campus with the food it produces and teaches invaluable lessons that can't be learned in a classroom to a multitude of students. Your donation to the Outback Farm will help in all the ways listed above to make sure this campus staple is here to stay and continues to have the transformational impact on student learning that it has for the past half a century. Please make your gift today and come visit the farm soon!
Thank you for joining the Outback family, and for contributing to our ongoing success. Our students (and chickens) thank you!