Eastern Shore Food Lab

Rethinking Food

The Eastern Shore Food Lab (ESFL) will be an interdisciplinary research, teaching, and production laboratory dedicated to studying and experimenting with sustainable food systems, using the Eastern Shore food-shed as its primary context.

By researching the resources unique to the region based on weather, climate, soil chemistry, and microbial biology—and fusing historical foodways with modern technologies—faculty, students, community members, and collaborative researchers will re-envision our food system, from how we define food to how we grow it and prepare it.


Campus Activity

  • Mastering the air flow of the earth oven was important to keep the fire going strong.
    From starting sourdough cultures in their dorm rooms to baking pizza in the Campus Garden’s earth oven, Washington College’s student gardeners are learning how permaculture helps grow a resilient society.
  • A jar of honey harvested from the Campus Garden apiary.
    The Campus Garden is abuzz with excitement. Students harvested honey from campus for the first time in Washington College history—and not one sting!
  • Students enjoyed aronia berries in homemade yogurt smoothies they made while camping.

    Students foraged for meals and fermented foods as part of the permaculture pre-orientation trip, which focused on how to build ecological resilience within the modern human landscape.

  • Bill Schindler, inaugural director of the Eastern Shore Food Lab at Washington College, explains some of the charcuterie, ...

    Washington College’s innovative new Eastern Shore Food Lab will be based in the heart of Chestertown in a renovated restaurant space.

Stories from the Field

  • Bill Schindler forages in Ireland.
    The Eastern Shore Food Lab gets a running start by building on research with top experts around the world.
  • 11/07/17 The Irish Times

    Bill Schindler, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Eastern Shore Food Lab, is interviewed for this story in The Irish Times about his collaboration with University College Dublin, Ireland’s Centre for Experimental Archaeology and Material Culture, and the Food Evolutions project. The story discusses his Food, People, and the Planet class at Washington College and how it is related to his study of what he calls “immersive food acquisition.”

  • Bill Schindler, director of the Eastern Shore Food Lab at Washington College and associate professor of anthropology, is interviewed by Nick Redding of Preservation Maryland in this PreserveCast podcast on “Primitive Technology and Food of the Future.” 

  • Cheese has always fascinated me. Ever since I was a young child I have loved everything about the experience of eating cheese. I loved the way it looked, the way it tasted, the way it smelled (well, most of it), and I even loved the texture. Read more…
  • Although I’m here in Iceland to take a traditional cheese making class, I took full advantage of the one day we had off to drive eight hours to try hákari, the traditional Icelandic fermented Greenlandic shark.  Read more…