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About the Tiny Farm

The “Tiny-Farm” is an experiential and educational farm space located within City Sprouts Farm in the Birchwood neighborhood of Bellingham, WA. Envisioned lovingly by a few Western students, the Tiny-Farm is a project that was born out of a desire to learn about regenerative farming and food justice through a completely immersive and hands-on approach while also helping to meet the needs of food insecure students on campus.


Through independent study projects, students across campus will have the opportunity to engage in farm work while receiving college credit. With about 1200 sq ft of farming space, the Tiny-Farm aims to provide free food to 10-15 students, practicing a grant-funded CSA model. 

Educational points that will be addressed within this space include learning and practicing the physical farm skills required for maintaining a regenerative production farm (from seeding, to harvesting, to eventual plant removal, to crop planning, and many tasks in between); understanding, defining, and practicing food justice; learning the business skills associated with running a farm before, during, and after the growing season; and experiencing and learning about the community-building and healing powers that are often harnessed in sustainable, regenerative farming spaces.


ISP Participation requirements

We are currently looking for ISP participants starting in Spring or Summer 2024! Below you can view our requirements for ISP participants and a link to express interest in joining.

Seeking students (freshman, sophomore, or junior status) interested in a long-term commitment to a holistic farming education in an intimate small group setting, led by urban farmer Ellie Duncan at City Sprouts Farm. 


To participate in this ISP, you must be taking 3 or 4 credits and commit to taking the ISP for more than one quarter. Repeatable up to 2 years. Peak food production season is during the summer, so summer and fall quarters are required in order to be eligible for a mentorship role.


The first year of farming ISPs is up to 4 quarters of learning about basic farm skills, planning, etc. Available to any knowledge level. Course level based on prior experience.


The second year of farming ISPs is up to 4 quarters with a mentorship/leadership focus. Students must have completed at least one quarter on the farm (spring or summer) and one quarter doing crop planning to qualify to be a mentor.


The ideal candidate for this experience is someone who:

  • Is interested in being involved in food justice efforts

  • Wants to learn about alternative and regenerative farming practices in an urban farm setting

  • Good communication skills

  • Interested in outdoor, hands-on experiential learning and willing to work in variable weather conditions


Per university policy, the number of hours you are expected to spend on any course is 3x the amount of credits


3 credits = 9 total hours

4 credits = 12 total hours


For this course, we will meet on the farm 2-3 days a week. There is one required class time and two “lab” options depending on needed hours.


Discussion session: 2 hr discussion/class time to be spent discussing reading, specific questions/ideas, team/community building, discussions of values, goals, and ethics etc., 2 hours of experiential learning. Day 1 attendance is mandatory for the full time; hours are not flexible on day 1.


Lab 1: 4 hours of farm work time (watering, seeding, weeding, pruning, general farm tasks, etc.)


Lab 2: 4 hours of farm work time


3 credits: attend discussion session (4hrs) and at least 4 more hours between the two lab sessions. 1 hour per week allotted for reading assignments.


4 credits: attend discussion session (4hrs) and at least 7 more hours between the 2 lab sessions. 1 hour per week allotted for reading assignments.

How to Become a CSA Member

Statement of Vulnerability and Intention


As students, we are still learning how to farm and are new to coordinating and running a CSA program. The Tiny Farm is a pilot project and will be growing and changing throughout the season and over the years. While our main goal is to be reliable, we want to acknowledge that in farm spaces there are usually unknown obstacles that can affect output. We intend to adapt as best we can to any unforeseen circumstances or changes, and appreciate your patience as recipients in the event of not being able to fulfill expected quantities. Because this project is new, your feedback and communication throughout the season will be paramount in ensuring the optimal planning of the Tiny Farm curriculum and operations.

Requirements to be a CSA members:

  • Western Student (do not have to be enrolled in Summer quarter)

  • Live in Bellingham late May-end of August 

  • Commit to picking up and/or receiving a box of veggies every week and/or being prepared to make plans for someone else to (we are relying on you to eat these veggies and don’t want them to go to waste!)

  • Be willing to actively give feedback during or after the season

Our Target Audience and the Honor System:


One of the primary missions of the Tiny Farm Project is to address food insecurity in the Western community. We aim to make fresh, local produce more accessible to those who have troubles accessing it. 


There are many reasons a person may not have access to fresh produce, and we kindly ask that you use the list below to evaluate whether or not you are an ideal candidate for this program. We will not review your answers to these questions, and we trust that you will use this checklist as a personal tool for evaluating need and proceed with the application honestly. 


The Tiny Farm is, well… tiny! As a result, the food we grow to share with the community is limited, and completing the application dishonestly could prevent food assistance from going to those who truthfully need it. 


We thank you for practicing integrity as you evaluate this questionnaire. By doing so, you show great care for your community ♥️. 


Indications that you fall into our target audience might look like (you are not expected to meet each criteria point):


  • Having a mental or physical disability that limits you or  your household’s ability to grocery shop or spend excess time in grocery stores pondering food choices


  • Experiencing factors out of your control that impact your financial stability (eg. medical expenses, debt, job insecurity, family dynamics, immigration expenses, etc)


  • You receive public assistance (food stamps, medi-care, school grants, significant financial aid, etc)


  • You have a lack of financial support from family, partners, or investments


  • You feel limited in your access to this kind of food for any other reason outside of the ones listed above

Please click the button below to apply to be a CSA member for 2024. The deadline for applications is May 1st. Members will be chosen by lottery after completing the application.


Contact US

If you have any questions please feel free to send us an email and include Tiny Farm in the subject line.

Sam Schmidt:

Kate Teele:

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