Last Thursday, SustainSU volunteers and Student Services staff got together to clean up and say goodbye to the campus gardens for the winter. With incredible 14◦C weather, we did a bit of hard work followed by apple cider, candied apples, and carrots pulled fresh from the ground!
What is the campus garden?
The campus garden is a SustainSU project located on North Campus along 89th Avenue, across from Tamarack House. It operates from May-September and welcomes volunteers from across the campus community (no previous experience required!)
This summer, we had the wonderful Carolyn Howe as our garden coordinator. We hosted drop-in volunteer hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and enjoyed a pot luck planting party and harvest session.
My experience at the garden this summer
I dropped by the garden for the first time this summer. I’d done a bit of flower gardening in my backyard, but never real veggies! I loved the garden’s vibe right away…especially the toilet flowerbox 😛 Carolyn made me feel right at home. I was nervous I didn’t know “official” weeding techniques but she told me the garden is more about the people than the products.
We’ve got composting bins, a greenhouse (affectionately called the “hot house”), and raised boxes and in-ground plots for planting! We have rose bushes out front and a carrot patch back by the hot house. SustainSU provides all the tools: gloves, trowels, and even an electric tiller.
We began by pulling up old annual plants and attacking the hot-house. Because of the great weather, some kale was still standing. Jasmine, our SustainSU Program Lead, led a group in cleaning out the hot-house. After an hour of work, the ground was bare and the walls of the hot-house were actually visible!
Thanks to our friends at Student Services, we had a little bonfire and some good tunes. Pleasantly surprised by how fast the work went by, we enjoyed hot apple cider and some candied apples dipped in cinnamon with coconut flakes, almonds, sprinkles, and m&ms. Some members from the complex across the street and the sorority next door joined in the fun.
Afterwards, volunteers could enter a draw for some SustainSU prizes, comment on the event, and write suggestions on a chalkboard for the garden next year! Some of us went home with a baggy of fresh carrots.
Thanks to everyone who helped organize this event. I can’t wait to say hello to the garden again next year! I hope you pop by to check it out.
Want more info on the garden? Visit our website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.