This spring, we’ve headed out to check out a number of farms and college food suppliers with an eye towards visiting farms and businesses that the college does business with or is considering doing business with.
High Lawn Farm
in Lee, MA
According to Executive Chef Mark Thompson, about 95% of the college’s liquid milk comes from High Lawn. When asked to put High Lawn operations into perspective, General Manager Roberto Laurens said that they were a very small operation compared to a place like Hood. But compared to places that Williams students may be more familiar with – like Cricket Creek or Gammelgarden, High Lawn seemed quite big. Click here to meet their cows. And here to see their robotic milking system.
Sustainable Aqua Farms (formerly Berlin’s Best)
in Berlin, NY
Formerly greenhouses for roses, the SAF facility currently grows lettuces hydroponically – with plans to expand to include fish in the future. Because they grow indoors, the farmers can precisely control the growing environment ensuring the exact levels of light, water, and nutrients that each head receives. A contingent of students and staff from Dining Services, the Zilkha Center, and Ginsberg’s visited to explore the possibility of finding a local source of lettuce in the winter months when we get lettuce trucked in from California.
in Boston, MA
Red’s Best is a seafood wholesaler who buys from small fisheries and promotes sustainable fishing. For her independent study on sustainable seafood, Erica Chang ’18 has pinpointed Red’s Best as a good option for the college. In early May, Erica led headed up a site visit to Red’s Best in Boston with Chef Mark Thompson and others.
in Pownal, VT
Located about 15 minutes from campus, Gammelgarden Creamery’s Skyr is a favorite among Williams students. An Icelandic yogurt-like dish, Skyr is actually a cheese that is produced by hanging it through a cheesecloth and adding vegetable rennet. Run by Stina Kurtzer, Gammelgarden has 8 cows and buys in extra milk when needed from neighboring farms. Their sales to Williams makes up about 60% of their business, Stina told us. For more on how Gammelgarden started, read this article in Edible Green Mountains.
Interested in joining for future farm visits this spring or next fall? Email Mike to get added to the list