February 4, 2016 • Craftsbury Common, Vermont • The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College is offering a new class in “Food Writing from the Farm” that will suit the tastes of those who savor eating, drinking, and writing.
This intensive summer course is designed for skilled writers who are passionate and thoughtful about food. Attendees will spend two weeks in rural Vermont, learning from some of the most widely-read and renowned food writers of our time. In this course, students will be mentored by food media luminaries and connected with some of the area’s most intriguing farmers and artisan food producers, providing ample inspiration for written work.
The vibrant working landscape of Vermont has been the inspiration for Sterling College’s environmental stewardship mission for a half century. Sterling’s sustainable agriculture and land management programs were among the first in the nation. The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College aligns with the College’s mission of environmental stewardship education by linking ecological principles of land management with the entrepreneurial community-building spirit of today’s artisan food movement.
Marian Burros, Sterling trustee, and former New York Times reporter whose beat was the politics of food, food safety, health and agriculture, will be acting as an advisor to the class and available to the students. She said, “Because this class is set against the backdrop of a working landscape, it makes it unique: no other writing workshop offers such an up-close and personal view.”
“Sterling’s ‘Food Writing from the Farm’ class is a rare opportunity for students to be mentored by authors who have completely reshaped the food writing landscape,” said Nicole Civita, Assistant Director of the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems at Sterling College. “The class will allow ample one-on-one time with these masters, developing voice, examining regionalism, and experimenting with form. In addition to honing technique and receiving invaluable feedback on their drafts, students will also learn about publication strategies and ways to build a career in food writing.”
Clark Wolf, food media expert and lead instructor of the course, emphasized the advantages of studying at Sterling College: “Not only does this class feature some of the finest voices in food writing, but it also offers the opportunity to study at a college that operates and feeds itself from its own diversified teaching farm. Sterling College and its home, the Northeast Kingdom, are places where the farm and food remain deeply connected and where that connection is revered.”
Other faculty include:
- Ruth Reichl, legendary writer and editor
- Scott Peacock, chef and cookbook author
- Corby Kummer, journalist
- Krishnendu Ray, author and food scholar
- Kim Severson, journalist
- Margo Baldwin, publisher
The class is being offered at Sterling College as part of its just-launched School of the New American Farmstead, a new program offering a variety of classes and workshops for aspiring agrarians, artisan food enthusiasts, and environmental stewards. These hands-on short courses in small-scale food production, sustainable farming, and food writing offer one-on-one mentorship, inspiration, skills, and new perspectives that will feed the body, the mind, and the spirit.
The School of the New American Farmstead programming is generously supported by Chelsea Green Publishing, an independent publishing company that works with authors who convey in-depth, practical knowledge about food, farming, ecology and community resilience—subjects at the heart of the Sterling College curriculum. Thanks to the relationship between Sterling College and Chelsea Green, students in the Food Writing from the Farm class will have the opportunity not only to hone their writing skills, but also to gain perspective from a publisher, Chelsea Green’s Margo Baldwin.
The announcement of the School of the New American Farmstead caps a remarkable time of innovation and growth at Sterling College. Under the leadership of President Matthew Derr, the College has launched the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems; inaugurated its continuing education program; made substantial progress on renewable energy; transformed its agricultural facilities; and set records for enrollment and fundraising.
Online registration is now open, but spaces are limited. The course will be held from May 23rd to June 3rd, 2016. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Academic credit is available for all courses.