Visit University Farm’s farm stand for fresh produce and beautiful views


Courtesy of CWRU

The 400-acre University Farm offers students an escape from the city and their coursework.

Christie Lanfear, Staff Writer

Spending the majority of my childhood in a rural New Hampshire town meant that I was surrounded by farms, livestock and deliciously fresh produce. It is safe to say that I have been to my fair share of farm stands, making me a self-proclaimed “farm stand expert,” if you will. My community thrives on local produce and its members make an effort to support the local farmers. Our farm stands are even visited by people from neighboring cities, seeking refuge from the processed foods off the chain supermarket shelves. In lieu of my fondness for farm stands, I wanted to highlight one that is accessible for students at Case Western Reserve University. Despite the rather urban locale, our beloved University Farm is selling carefully grown produce at their greenhouse stand on Saturday, Aug. 27 from 9 a.m. to noon. The event serves as the perfect opportunity for us students to discover the beauty of the farm and to get away from the city before burying our noses in textbooks.  

For those of you who are new to CWRU or are unfamiliar with the background of our farm, the university has historically tapped into its many educational benefits. In 1919, Valleevue Farm was given to the women’s college of Western Reserve University in the will of Andrew Squire prior to the joining of the women’s college with the Case School of Applied Science. He hoped that his farm would be preserved and used as a way for both students and staff to connect with Mother Earth while continuing to nourish their minds and further their education. It is safe to say that Squire’s wish came true and then some. The farm contains trails for hiking, cross-country running and skiing in addition to numerous buildings available to students for private social and educational events. Despite already being 400 acres in size, the farm is ever-growing via new programs focused on conservation and supporting breeding animals. Both undergraduate and graduate students studying biology, art or ecology attend courses held at the farm where the extraordinary abundance and variety of wildlife in the region provides a perfect complement to indoor lectures. 

A prominent initiative of the University Farm is their Farm Food Program, which works towards aiding non-profit organizations in the Cleveland area, educating the CWRU community on sustainable food production and providing campus dining halls with fresh food grown with the techniques of organic gardening. The farm also strives to support local businesses, obtaining many of their raw materials from the surrounding Cleveland community. Since the beginning of the program in 2010, the farm has worked closely with Bon Appétit and produced over 6 tons of produce in 2019 alone. A plethora of herbs and vegetables are grown on the property, ranging from basil and rosemary to asparagus and rhubarb. 

The farm stand is an important part of the Farm Food Program, serving as a way for freshly harvested produce to go straight from the soil into the hands of faculty and students. Located on farm property in Hunting Valley just 10 miles from campus, it is an easy trip for students to make. For increased flexibility, students are encouraged to make their own way to the farm, but there is also a shuttle bus that runs from campus; simply contact the farm office at 216-368-0274 to ask about the schedule. The farm stand is located near the farm’s greenhouse and is set up about every other week depending on the weather and crop conditions. For those who are planning to attend, it should be kept in mind that only card sales are accepted. 

I hope that all who attend experience the delight of produce such as freshly picked carrots and beautiful edible flowers. You should also take advantage of the numerous trails through beautiful meadows before the winter weather arrives. Who would pass up the opportunity to sample delicious produce grown on a stunningly picturesque farm by the caring and dedicated hands of our CWRU community?