Penn Park Farm and Duke Campus Farm, with Lila Bhide and Dr. Saskia Cornes


This Working Wednesdays presentation highlights Penn Park Farm with Lila Bhide and Duke Campus Farm with Dr. Saskia Cornes! Our presenters will share about their respective projects, experiential learning, and farming in elite academic contexts. 

PPEH offers this lunch series, Working Wednesdays, which is designed to showcase in-progress Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) straddling theoretical and practical environmental concerns. These sessions take place on Wednesdays, 12:30-1:30 sharp.

All sessions are open to the community but require RSVP. Grab a lunch and join us on Zoom!


left side is a view of Penn Farm on a clear blue day, on the right is a portrait of Lila Bhide wearing a mask and watering seedlings with a watering can

Introduction to the Penn Food and Wellness Collaborative
with Lila Bhide

This presentation introduces participants to the Penn Food and Wellness Collaborative. It will include information on how we got started, how we operate, and our goals for the future. The presentation will cover our work at the Penn Park Farm, our educational partnerships, student programs, food distributions, and more!


On the left, the farm has neat rows being tended by a person with a hoe. The sunlight is streaming. On the right, Saskia Cornes holds a basket of freshly harvested peppers and is smiling widely.

Environmental and Agricultural Humanities at the Duke Campus Farm
with Dr. Saskia Cornes

Over the last ten years, the Duke Campus Farm has grown from a student-led interest group to a fully-fledged Duke institution. In this talk, I’ll share some of the ways that a farm on an R1 campus works as a soil and community restoration project, a living laboratory, and a literal and figurative testing ground for what I’ve been calling the “agricultural humanities.”


Lila Surya Bhide helped co-found the Penn Food and Wellness Collaborative in 2019 as a winner of the Your Big Idea- Wellness Challenge. She now coordinates the Penn Food and Wellness Collaborative where she runs programming and academic partnerships and also manages the Penn Park Farm. Lila earned her BA in Environmental Studies and Political Science from Oberlin College and has a wide range of professional experience in education, sustainable agriculture, and culinary arts. Outside of work, Lila is a community organizer and has worked with organizations such as the Philadelphia South Asian Collective, Philly for Racial, Economic, and Legal Justice (better known as Philly for REAL Justice), and the Ant Smith Legal Defense Committee. She also loves to cook, read, Netflix binge, and go for hikes with her dog!

Saskia Cornes is an Assistant Professor of the Practice in the environmental humanities at Duke’s Franklin Humanities Institute and the Program Director of the Duke Campus Farm. She has a PhD in English, studied agroecology at UC Santa Cruz, and has worked in sustainable agriculture in both rural and urban settings over the last ten years. Her most recent article opens a dialogue between practical and Edenic agricultural labor in Milton’s Paradise Lost.