Director of The Farm & Educator: Bridget Lawrence-Meigs
My passion for farming and food security has it roots in experiences studying, working and volunteering in Kenya. I was hired to start The Farm at Stonehill in January of 2011 to help the college live out it’s mission “to help our students grow into global citizens who value knowledge, integrity and compassion as they seek to create a more just society.” We do this at The Farm by inviting students to help us grow and donate about 12,000-15,000 pounds of over 100 varieties of vegetables, flower, and herbs each season on 1.5 acres to partnering organizations that are working to alleviate food desert conditions in the neighboring City of Brockton, MA.
I teach courses in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Justice and mentor students wishing to pursue directed studies or undergraduate thesis work in these fields. I serve as the faculty advisor for Food Truth, the College’s chapter of the Real Food Challenge, and support student groups that are promoting sustainability in campus. The Farm has become a place where students interested in sustainable agriculture and human capital development come together to develop solutions to food insecurity at both the local and global level, and I feel very lucky to be a part of this proactive and positive community.
I am passionate about growing nutritious vegetables using sustainable methods, working with our students and community to develop a strong sense of place and stewardship to the natural world, and all the while working to address global issues of poverty and hunger relating to climate change, food production and food distribution.
Bridget Meigs grew up at Millbrook School in Millbrook, NY where her father, Jonathan, directed The Trevor Zoo and her mother, Jane, worked to educate the school and surrounding community about conservation and sustainability. Bridget received her B.S. in Biology from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario in 2001 where she studied communication of the Black-Capped Chickadee for her undergraduate thesis project with Dr. Laurene Ratcliffe. She then traveled, volunteered and studied Spanish in Central America before completing a Masters of Professional Studies in Sustainable Agriculture from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Her work at Cornell with Dr. James Lassoie focused on the role that school gardens can play in addressing children’s food insecurity in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. Before coming to Stonehill College to start The Farm in 2011, she worked for organizations in Kenya, Guatemala and California including McGill University’s Canadian Field Studies in Africa Program, Habitat for Humanity, The FruitGuys. She has gained farming experience at Coonamessett Farm in East Falmouth, MA, The Farm Institute on Martha’s Vineyard and from her fellow farmers in Southeastern Massachusetts. Bridget served as a Project Mentor for The 2Seeds Network on the Magoma-Kijango project near Korogwe, Tanzania. She welcomes opportunities to travel, explore new places and cultures, or enjoy the outdoors anywhere within a day’s travel of her home in Easton, MA.
Assistant Farm Manager: Celia Dolan
I began volunteering at The Farm my freshman year to enjoy the outdoors, embrace the trials and triumphs of physical labor, and meet people on campus. As I learned more about The Farm’s mission and the duties of a farmer, I grew to appreciate nature, community, and life as a whole even more. Bridget introduced me to issues of food justice – a concept I’d never contemplated before. Through The Farm, I developed a passion for sustainable agriculture, food security, zero-waste lifestyles, and the intersection of food with people’s everyday activities. I am particularly interested in Farm to School programs and agricultural and nutritional education for students.
I graduated from Stonehill in December with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and a minor in business. After volunteering and working at The Farm for three and a half years, I was excited and honored to accept a position with Bridget that would allow me to further develop my interest in and knowledge about farming and food justice. In addition to continuing our established projects at The Farm, I am working with Bridget to develop a seed saving garden where we will grow open-pollinated and heirloom seeds. Our hope is that many of these seeds will be collected from HOPE trips, study abroad expeditions, and other meaningful student travel experiences so that they can share seeds and seed stories with us.
I aim to continuously learn more about sustainable agriculture and sustainable lifestyles while also introducing other people to the importance of knowing our foods’ origins, food’s role in promoting health and justice, and the adoption of habits that will develop mindful, environmentally sound living.
Celia Dolan grew up in Stoughton, MA, not far from Stonehill’s campus, with her loving parents Thomas and Karen Dolan. She graduated from Cardinal Spellman High School in 2015 with no inkling about becoming a farmer and food justice advocate. While studying at Stonehill College, she was a Moreau Student Minister, Writing Consultant and Fellow, Teacher’s Assistant, member of the Handbell Choir, Real Food Calculator for Food Truth, and Community Engagement Coordinator. As a sophomore, Celia participated in a HOPE trip that visited the peaceful, sustainable Agape Community in Ware, MA and traveled to Italy with The Mindful Palette: Food, Art, and Sustainability class. The summer after her junior year at Stonehill, Celia traveled to Oregon and Northern California with the Coastal Pacific Northwest class. Following her trip, she interned at Langwater Farm in Easton, MA where she bolstered her agriculture skills and experienced working on a for-profit farm. In her position at The Farm at Stonehill, she seeks out opportunities to strengthen her passion for sustainability, farming, and food justice while exploring her interest in outdoor and agricultural education.