Stewardship at the Oxford Tract

Catherine de la Pena
Spring 2022

This semester, I worked with the Bowles Agroecology Lab at the Oxford Tract, an agricultural
research facility that has been owned by the University since 1923. The agroecology lab is conducting a
long term experiment across a large section of the tract, studying urban agriculture and no-till
management strategies. The presence of the lab creates a framework of research that legitimizes the
communities and relationships that have emerged through the context of the tract. Through active
engagement with the land, plants, and humans, visitors to the tract embed themselves within complex and
interwoven communities. Over the course of the internship, I worked with other stewards to facilitate
open hours, dream up spring and summer crop plans, and assist with research projects looking at soil
health across other small farms.