The Yale Farm Tour Experience

Somewhere in the haze of freshman fall I found myself on a farm in the middle of Connecticut with a few of my new maybe-friends, soaking up one of the final warm days of the season and picking fresh fruit. This was one of my first “oh wow Yale” moments, when I realized the kinds of incredible (i.e. free) opportunities available to students any given week.

Naturally, I was pretty psyched when the farm tours rolled around once again. I obsessively checked my email every Sunday so I could be the first to sign up, and when my original date got rained out (thnx Hurricane Joaquin) I was bummed, then thrilled to learn that it had been rescheduled. Which brings us to Saturday, October 10th, with me ready to embrace my inner farmer.

8:00 am– Waking up to an alarm before 9 on a Saturday, I begin to wonder if I’ve made a horrible, horrible mistake. Fortifying myself with thoughts of fresh fruit and potential instas, I manage to get out of bed and to the buses outside Woolsey by 8:15, fall color scheme outfit intact.

8:45 am– And we’re off! I’m getting serious middle school field trip vibes from the bus ride, and I realize that I haven’t been in a moving vehicle since the move-in-weekend Ikea trip.

10:00 am– We’ve arrived at Rose’s Berry Farm, where we trek uphill to a covered patio with a sign that says “Breakfast with a View.” Its not lying.  Once there, of my earlier doubts are immediately dissipated by the sight of BRUNCH. I spend all week looking forward to Yale Dining’s brunch fare, but this is really something else. And the fact that we eat  overlooking acres of picturesque farmland doesn’t hurt.

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11:00 am– Sufficiently stuffed, we hear a bit about the nuts and bolts of the farm business from the owner. Then, we take a tractor ride down a dusty dirt road to the pumpkin patch. I imagine this is what it would be like to live inside a Berenstain Bears book.




11:30 am– After some very careful consideration (seriously, I haven’t put that much thought into a decision since I decided on my fall classes) we all emerge with our crop of pumpkins, destined to decorate windowsills and mantels across campus until they inevitably get moldy and gross. And then it’s off to the next stop on the tour.

1:00 pm– We arrive at Blue Hills Orchard. A quick tour of the farm (tractors are quickly edging out Uber as my favorite form of transportation) is followed by the main attraction: apple picking. I’m waylaid for a moment by nostalgia for the sacred fall family outing, but quickly get to work. I stick to a solid ratio of eating one apple for every one picked. By the end, everyone has plenty to last them until fall break and beyond, mushy dining hall apples be damned.

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2:00 pm– We arrive back on campus, still giddy with the excitement of simply being someplace that isn’t here for a few hours. Take that Yale bubble. Gathering up my ample harvest, I make my way back to my room, the Buzzfeed apple recipes I looked up on the bus swirling in my head. Until next year, farm tour.