Hartland Natural Farm

Rapidan, VA

WHEN YOU SEE the beautiful variety and taste the incredible quality of produce from Hartland Natural Farm, you might imagine it to have been grown by a seasoned farmer. However, this produce is grown and harvested by college students at the Hartland Institute, a Christian missionary college in Madison County. As part of the college’s core-curriculum, students operate a diversified year-round vegetable farm, mostly growing in high tunnels (unheated greenhouses) and following organic growing practices, allowing them to have a plentiful supply of fresh produce year-round.

The students not only grow crops for resale, but also to supply their own cafeteria. The student-run cafeteria and on-campus farm, managed by Armando Lopez, creates a unique connection among students to their food and how it was grown. The student farm operators get to experience a career in agriculture while completing their studies, enabling them to graduate with business, marketing, nutrition, and agriculture skills in addition to their missionary studies.