As a New Yorker living in the concrete jungle, I never imagined myself herding lambs and harvesting greens until I joined the Big Red Farm Club at the Lawrenceville School
-Tiffany Lin '20
Big Red Farm
The mission of the Big Red Farm is to enrich our community by growing nutritious food that connects hands, heads, and hearts to the land. In the words of Lawrenceville alumnus Aldo Leopold (class of 1905), we seek to instill in students a Land Ethic that "enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land."
The Big Red Farm helps ensure that the School meets the experiential learning goals of our 20/20 strategic plan. Led by dedicated faculty and staff with experience in farming, gardening, and experiential education, the Big Red Farm empowers students to make sense of outdoor learning by turning the Farm into another Lawrenceville classroom. Opportunities abound for gaining a deep understanding of sustainable agriculture through participation, dialogue, and reflection.
The Farm consists of 4 acres of tilled land, 20 acres of pasture, 3 greenhouses, and a demonstration garden next to the school dining hall. Together, these spaces offer numerous learning opportunities for students, faculty, and staff, such as internships, volunteer fieldwork, curriculum connections, house events, and community service.
What We Grow
The Big Red Farm supplies the School dining hall and area food pantries with 15 varieties of vegetables including tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, kale, eggplant, and squash. We also produce pork, lamb, hot sauce, maple syrup, honey, herbs, and cut flowers.
Through our outreach and education efforts, the Big Red Farm inspires the community to support local agriculture, food equity, and sustainable land use practices. As part of farm outreach, Lawrenceville students and staff teach area children about growing and harvesting food, donate to food pantries in Greater Trenton, run a public produce stand, and host farm-to-table events.
When the COVID-19 pandemic closed the door on summer campus research for the2020 Leopold Scholars, students opened windows to new opportunities. Working with Lawrenceville’s Director of Sustainability Steve Laubach, Scholars created home-based independent projects.
Al Veltri, or “Chicken Al,” as he’s known to his colleagues on the Big Red Farm (BRF) due to his extensive chicken-farming operation, has been a resident of Lawrence Township since he was born in 1954.
Let me start by saying that I’m not an animal person. I’m still jumpy around dogs and feel little urge to play with most of the pets that other people love to cuddle. I make an exception for our farm cats, Ranunculus and Larkspur.
As a New Yorker living in the concrete jungle, I never pictured myself herding lambs, planting luscious vegetables, and enjoying other farm activities until I joined the Big Red Farm Club at the Lawrenceville School.
Through House and Harkness, Lawrenceville challenges a diverse community of promising young people to lead lives of learning, integrity, and high purpose. Our mission is to inspire the best in each to seek the best for all.