Morven Summer Institute

Now that everyone's back from spring break, it's naturally time to start thinking ahead to summer vacation and how those class-free months will be filled. The beautiful Morven Farm, a 3,000 acre gift from John Kluge to UVa in 2000, is a mere 14 miles away from Grounds, but inhabits a completely different environment from the University. It is this juxtaposition of separation and unity, along with an interest in utilizing the landscape for educational purposes - particularly as a basis for sustainability-related explorations - that provided the basis for the new Morven Summer Institute that will take place at Morven from May 16 through June 9.

From the Institute's website: The Morven Summer Institute is an intensive and unique four-week (May 16 - June 9, 2011) experience held on the grounds of UVa's historic Morven Farm. Designed for undergraduates with interests in sustainability, design, food systems, and ecology, this interdisciplinary program features courses in Architecture, Interdisciplinary Food Studies, and a one-credit seminar co-taught by a multidisciplinary team of faculty from across the University. Students will arrive at Morven in the morning (transportation is provided) and return to Grounds in the early afternoon. Like Study Abroad, but in Charlottesville, students will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a distinctive learning environment for a novel environmental education. Alongside coursework, the Morven Kitchen Garden will be both a highlight and focus of the student experience at the Morven Summer Institute."

The Morven Kitchen Garden is a project underway to re-cultivate the one-acre plot that was used as a kitchen garden while John Kluge still lived on the property. The growing experience will serve as an educational tool for faculty and students, and the food itself will be provided to participants in the Summer Institute. The plot has been cleared and tilled, and Panorama Pay-Dirt has just come in and dumped 30 cubic yards of their 'black gold' onto the space (courtesy of a donation from UVa Dining), so the planting and growing will begin soon!

Along with the educational components of the kitchen garden, three courses will be taught over the four-week Institute period:

The deadline to apply for the Morven Summer Institute is April 1st. The application can be found here.

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