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Open Farm Day Reports

By Sustainability Office on August 1, 2016

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This weekend, the garden interns attended Open Farm Day in upstate NY. Open Farm Day is an annual event where farms in the NY area open their doors to the public for tours, information, and produce sale. Interns toured a few local farms, and here are their reports:

Common Thread CSA

Common Thread CSA, located in Hamilton, NY is a Community Supported Agriculture program. Residents of Hamilton and communities as far as Utica own shares of the farm, providing them with fresh produce once a week. They, in turn, support the farm financially. On our visit, we learned about some of their methods to increase the sustainability of their operation. Raised beds, for example, allow for more water traction and more food grown in a smaller amount of space. Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 4.03.11 PMAdditionally, by rotating their crops every season, they avoid depleting the soil of its resources, giving them soil time to replenish itself each season. Common Thread also uses their own compost, irritates with a spring-fed pool, and only uses organic pesticides when they are absolutely necessary.

The next step for Common Thread is a loan or donation system that would provide local, healthy food to refugees in Utica. It is important to Common Thread that everyone has access to affordable, healthy food, and they are working on making that possible in our area. We love to see local farmers working towards a bigger cause.

Drover Hill Farm

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 4.03.27 PMOur next stop was Drover Hill Farm, located in Earlville, NY. Drover Hill is one of the only pasture-raised cattle farms in the area. Cows that are not raised on grass are often fed grains and supplements to speed up their growth. This diet is unhealthy for the cows as their bodies were not built to digest these products as well. Pasture-fed cows, such as those at Drover produce healthier, leaner meats, as well as a production cycle that benefits the environment, as less energy goes into growing grass than grain.

Drover Hill was also home to many award-winning cows, bred for their straight backs, foot and leg structure, as well as many other categories. Open Farm Day participants were also given the chance to name their three new calves; we suggested Larry, Moe, and Curly!

Fruit of the Fungi

The next farm of the day was a little out of the ordinary as it was a farm dedicated to growing fungi, specifically mushrooms! Fruit of the Fungi, also located in Earlville, was a peaceful 15-minute drive from Drover Hill.

The farm is split into two operations: mushrooms produced from logs and those from incubation. Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 4.09.23 PMThe process to grow shiitake mushrooms in logs is a long but very interesting journey. First, a fresh log of hardwood, usually maple or oak, must be found. It’s important that the log is a hardwood because the bark needs to be tough and hardy so it will stay on for a long period of time. One inch holes are drilled and inserted with shiitake mycelium which comes from cultures they grow and sawdust.
Cheese wax is used to close up the holes and any other cuts in the bark to prevent the sawdust from drying out. After a year, the mycelium has developed enough and the logs are submerged into cold water for about 24 hours. The drastic temperature difference causes the shiitake mushr
ooms to grow. The logs usually last about 5-7 years but as they get older, fewer mushrooms will be produced.

The farm also has a small incubation room where they are able to grow a larger variety of species as well as produce mushrooms year round. Other perks to the incubator are the quick return in the number of mushrooms (2-3 months) and the fact that fewer variables will affect the growth.

Sawdust is compacted into blocks in which mycelium is added. The blocks are then sealed in bags and holes are popped in them to control the airflow. The temperature in the coolers range from 65-95 degrees in order to prevent contamination.  The types which they had during our visit were lion’s mane (Image 1) which has a seafood-like flavor, golden oyster (Image 2), shelf (Image 3) and shiitake mushrooms (Image 4.)

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Shelf mushrooms are very similar to the ones you may find on the forest floor but because of how fibrous they can be they are usually eaten dry or crushed into powder. The shiitake mushroom aren’t placed in bags as they would cause the mushrooms to become deformed. You must spray them with water since they lose moisture more quickly. They respond well to movement so bouncing the blocks around causes mushrooms to grow.

Johnston’s Honeybee Farm

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 4.04.40 PMThis small, family run apiary is located in Eaton, NY. Johnston started his operations after working on a commercial farm as a young man. After retirement, he decided to continue his passion for working with bees and started his own business. The bee business isn’t a painless one. Johnston spoke about getting stung up to 200 times a day. Yet, his respect and care for the bees were clear. Often times, he wore nothing but a face-net when out in the hives, knowing that his bare hands and skin would make him interact with the bees more carefully and gently.

We were able to see the honey extraction process, as the wax coating was melted off a tray, and the honey then spun in a centrifuge which sent the honey down to a holding cell. Raw honey is run through sieves to remove impurities such as wax and some pollen. The honey can then be sold as a solid. Additionally, some honey is headed to exactly 137 degrees in order to make it a liquid, which is what you may be used to in the supermarket. The liquid honey tastes much sweeter, but the raw honey has a special thickness and grain to it that we loved. Fun fact: the taste and appearance of honey can vary significantly based on the flowers the bees have access to pollinating!

Red Gate Farm

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 4.04.51 PMOur last stop of the day was Red Gate Farm, which has been around for 16 years. This dairy farm is home to 360 cows, who are milked twice a day. The rest of their days are filled with grass grazing and milk production. Red Gate also used an underground tunnel to move the cows from pasture to milking room without putting them in danger of traffic and busy streets. At the end of our visit, we enjoyed some incredible salted butter, cream, and buttermilk products made right at the farm!

Local Food Benefits: The Basics

By Sustainability Office on August 1, 2016

The mission of the Community Garden is multilayered. We aim to serve as an educational space providing student interns and campus community members first-hand opportunities to learn about gardening and small-scale agriculture. Through this education, we aim to raise awareness of local food production, sustainable agriculture, and the campus food cycle. In addition to our educational component we want to help support students by allowing them to have easier access to local food options through our student-run farm stand on campus. And finally, because all of our actions have an impact on larger communities, the CCG serves as a place of interaction and positive engagement that further strengthens the bond between the Colgate community and with our Hamilton neighbors.

But why promote locally grown food or a knowledge of gardening?

Working at the garden, just this summer, we have often heard the question at our farm stands, “Why should I buy my produce here?” With Price Chopper open 24/7, holding a wide selection of reliable produce, it is sometimes hard to imagine why eating locally grown food is better for you and your environment. Here are some reasons that may convince you…

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Local foods have been loosely defined as food that is sourced from a 100-250 mile radius from one’s home. Eating local guarantees you more flavorful and natural tasting foods. Produce and animal-based products grown in local farms are a lot less likely to contain biochemical substances that are normally used at larger factory farming corporations to help maximize product output and their profit. Not only are these chemicals destructive to earth and water systems, but they also change the natural taste and appearance of many naturally delicious herbs and veggies.

Transportation and Emission “costs”

The average American meal  travels 1500 miles to get to your plate. Food that is grown only a few miles away from you may travel thousands of miles for processing and packing, only to return back to where it started in the first place (See: How Far Does Your Food Travel to get to Your Plate?) To explain this idea more, check out this article by Alan Durning, that explains the environmental, political, economic, and cultural impacts that a cup of coffee creates before it makes it to your table.

Meanwhile, food from the Colgate Community Garden and other local farms such as Common Thread CSA travels only a handful of miles. Not only does this save monetary costs for both the producer and the consumer, but it also reduces emissions in transportation and factories.  


When food travels overseas or cross-country, producers are not only contributing to carbon emissions but also wasting tons of plastic and non-biodegradable materials on packaging. Food must also stay fresh after all those days and in order to do this, numerous chemicals are added to our food to make sure they appear ‘fresh’.

Waste can also come from the type of foods we choose to eat. In fact, it matters just as much as to how the food is produced. For example, beef requires around 20x more land and water, yet emits 20x more greenhouse emissions while only producing a relatively small amount of calories and protein. We are what we eat, and what we eat has a profound impact on the planet in ways we are hardly aware of.

Knowledge of Growing Methods

When you shop local, you often have the chance to ask the farmer directly what their growing methods are. Do they practice organic methods? What pesticides do they use? How do they treat their animals? The answers to these questions may be important to you and you won’t always get them by shopping at the supermarket. Many laws are in place to protect big corporations from having to share all their methods of growing and raising livestock. Most local farmers have gotten in the business because they believe in their methods and love to share them. Ask us how we grow at the next farm stand!

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Passing the baton

By sharing sustainable and organic gardening methods to students and community members, as well as sharing a contagious enthusiasm for eating local food, we hope to spread the practice to new adults, and future consumers. In his article, Why Bother, Michael Pollan shares reasons for why it is important to plant your own garden. Besides all the aforementioned benefits, Pollan argues that having your own garden and source of food slowly starts to dismantle our learned dependency on corporations.

“You begin to see that growing even a little of your own food is, as Wendell Berry pointed out 30 years ago, one of those solutions that, instead of begetting a new set of problems–the way “solutions” like ethanol or nuclear power inevitably do–actually beget other solutions, and not only of the kind that save carbon. Still more valuable are the habits of mind that growing a little of your own food can yield. You quickly learn that you need not be dependent on specialists to provide for yourself–that your body is still good for something and may actually be enlisted in its own support. If the experts are right, if both oil and time are running out, these are skills and habits of mind we’re all very soon going to need” (Pollan).  

When we break from our dependency on these structures, we find that it is easier, healthier, and more rewarding in so many ways. Hopefully, these initiatives help to spark a larger movement that engages our leaders to research and experiment with new approaches on how to eat and live in a more local and sustainable manner.


We would be remiss if we left out the community aspect of local food production. You will be surprised how many amazing people you will meet at farm stands, gardens, or even just your next door neighbor whose shovel you borrow! We are so thankful for the many community members that make our garden possible and for all the students who have supported our garden by choosing to eat locally.

“At least in this one corner of your yard and life, you will have begun to heal the split between what you think and what you do, to commingle your identities as consumer and producer and citizen. Chances are, your garden will re-engage you with your neighbors, for you will have produce to give away and the need to borrow their tools. You will have reduced the power of the cheap-energy mind by personally overcoming its most debilitating weakness: its helplessness and the fact that it can’t do much of anything that doesn’t involve division or subtraction… The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world” (Pollan).

And with that, start planting! Check out local farms in your area! Or come join us in the Colgate Garden. We are always looking for volunteers; our open hours are Tuesdays from 12-2pm and Thursdays 4:30-6:30pm.

Our next work party will be on August 3rd from 5-7. Come to the garden, meet new people, and eat good food! Our farm stand continues to be outside of Trudy Fitness Center on Broad Street, Tuesdays 4:30-6:30pm. If raining, we will be inside the fitness center near the check-in desk.

Now hiring garden interns!

By Sustainability Office on July 20, 2016


Department: Sustainability Office
Hours per Week: 6 hrs during fall semester

Job Description:
The Sustainability Office is offering a paid Garden Internship to a qualified student starting in mid/late-August 2016 until November 2016 (the end of the growing season). The garden intern will help manage and promote the one-half acre vegetable/herb garden and greenhouse on campus. This is a physically demanding, yet very rewarding job. Work includes exposure to outdoor elements (e.g., heat, sun, rain, etc.). The student intern is expected to coordinate and organize volunteers and student work parties. The Garden Intern will report directly to our garden manager (Beth Roy) and work in close collaboration with other garden interns and other Colgate students, faculty, and staff. The student intern will gain life-long skills and knowledge in harvesting and maintaining a garden, organizing events, and supervising volunteer workers.
Required Skills and Experience

Key Responsibilities:
• Work with garden manager (Beth Roy) to plan and manage the garden during the fall season. Specific tasks may include preparing soil, cultivating, planting, weeding, and harvesting.
• Organize and supervise volunteer work parties.
• Coordinate with Green Thumbs presidents to schedule a weekly time for volunteer work parties, and be at the garden during those scheduled times to supervise the work parties.
• Provide continuity for work on the garden throughout the 2016 growing season.
• Prepare for and help run a weekly Farm Stand to sell produce from the garden.
Recommended Qualifications and Skills:
• Strong work ethic and self-motivated.
• Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
• Preference will be given to those with experience and firsthand knowledge in farming and/or gardening with vegetable crops; though previous garden experience is not required.
• Experience organizing and supervising the work of others.
• Tolerance for hard work and exposure to outdoor elements.
• Excitement about promoting local farming and local food production

Work Requirements and Benefits
The garden internship position is rewarding but demanding work that involves physical exertion and exposure to the outdoor elements.
Starting Hourly Rate: Fall semester – $8.50/hour (estimated because Financial Aid determines pay rate)

Supervisor: Beth Roy, Garden Manager

Key Contacts: John Pumilio, Director of Sustainability; Christopher Henke, Associate Professor and faculty advisor to the garden; Beth Roy, Colgate Community Garden Consultant

To apply, send a resume and one page cover letter to the Garden Manager, Beth Roy (eroy@colgate.edu) and fill out an application on the Colgate Portal.
The application deadline is August 5. Employment will begin on or around August 15.

June Updates at the Garden

By Sustainability Office on July 5, 2016

With the recent rain falls and the rays of sun, the garden is looking very green and luscious! If you haven’t had chance to stop by (which you should definitely do during our open volunteer hours Tuesday 12-2 PM and Thursday 4:30-6:30 PM) and roam through the rows and rows of sprouting veggies, here are some updates! Our lettuce, radishes, kale, and chard are pluggin’ away and giving us lots to share! Snap peas practically popped out overnight this week with some impressive 5-inchers! And we had our first two squash after the wonderful rain!

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With such a great abundance, we have been harvesting for some very successful farm stands as well as for Chartwells, the dining service at Colgate, and the Food Cupboard located in Hamilton. Through all these sales and donations, we have been meeting many wonderful people and we are so thankful for all their help and the connections we’ve made. We would like to thank all of our farm stand regulars, our generous community plot members for words of encouragement (and delicious donuts!), and Chartwells dining services for supporting local food.


We would also like to give a big shout out to all our weekly volunteers, and namely our volunteer group from the library. Last week, a group of library staff members came down to be out in the sun for a few hours and give us a helping hand. They mulched, weeded, and planted parsley and brussel sprouts! To cool off and relax after their hard work, they sat in the shade and were able to paint some of the most beautiful and unique rocks our garden has ever seen. The garden looked so healthy and lively after they left and we are so grateful for all the time and energy they put in.

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Our next work party will be Wednesday July 6th from 5-7pm. Come to garden, enjoy good vibes, and eat delicious (and garden-sourced) food! And we are happy to announce that our Farm Stand is officially every Tuesday from 4:30-6:30 in front of Trudy Fitness Center right across from the Sanford Fieldhouse. On rainy days, we’ll be located inside Trudy at the sign-in desk! Hope to see you there! And remember to stay fresh and eat local!

Organic Pest Control at the Colgate Community Garden (and yours!)

By Sustainability Office on June 30, 2016

No matter how careful you are about keeping your garden clean and maintained, you are bound to run into some pests. At the Colgate Community Garden we have lots of critters that get to our food and it is important to be proactive in controlling them. To do so, we choose to use only organic methods as to reduce our impact on the surrounding land and create the healthiest produce possible. We have compiled some of our methods here for you so that you may implement them in your own garden or plot at the CCG.

Some common pests in the Upstate NY area include slugs, beetles, grasshoppers, and birds. The most vulnerable time for your plants is when they are young, as they are weak, and when they begin producing fruit.

It is often possible to determine which pest is getting at your plants based on the type of damage they leave. Once the pest is identified, you can begin steps towards prevention. Below are some common pests at the Colgate Community Garden, the damage they leave, and the steps we take to prevent them.

Common Pests and their damages

Beetles: Beetles typically leave small pinholes in the leaves of young leafy plants. They especially love our arugula and spinach plants. To keep out beetles we cover our plants with Diatomaceous earth after every rain. This method is explained below.


Slugs: Slugs typically leave larger damage than hard-shelled insects at the center and edges of leaves. To keep out slugs we use cups of beer in the ground. Slugs are attracted to the yeast in the beer and when they go for it, they drown in the cup. This method is further explained below.


Cutworms: These worms are most dangerous to our tomato plants, but can affect a wide variety of species,. They work by wrapping around the base of the plant tightly and severing the stem. The plant subsequently dies. To prevent these worms, we wrap the base of our tomato plants in a ring of newspaper. This method is further explained below.


Birds: Birds especially love berries and corn and thus your plants are most vulnerable to birds in their later stages. PLus, birds love earthworms, which are super beneficial to the soil health of a garden. However, if birds are not a huge problem in your garden, we suggest you embrace them. Most of the time, birds are also hardworking garden allies, munching away on annoying pests like snails, slugs, and harmful insects.

Grasshoppers: Grasshoppers are sneaky pests and it took us a while to figure out they were getting to our plants. The damage looks similar to beetle and slug damage: large bites out of the leaves of plants. To prevent grasshoppers you can use diatomaceous earth or try the flour method, explained below.

Organic pest control options

Beer: Simply fill a cup or jar about ¾ of the way to the top with dark ale. Bury the cup in the dirt so that the rim is just slightly above the soil. The slugs will be drawn to the yeast in the beer, and once they lean in for a quick sip, should fall right in and drown. This often captures other pests as well.

Diatomaceous Earth: This is a natural product collected from the ocean; it is made up of tiny crushed up shells of creatures called diatoms. It feels soft in our hands but to an insect, walking on diatomaceous earth is like walking on broken glass. Beetles to  caterpillars will be lacerated and dehydrated from the diatomaceous earth and will thus die. Spreading a thin layer on the leaves of affected plants is helpful in controlling a wide variety of crawling insects. While diatomaceous earth is safe for humans, we recommend using a dust mask and eye covering to avoid inhaling it or getting it in your eyes as it is microscopically sharp. Diatomaceous earth washes away so should be replaced after rainfalls.


Flour: Although we have not tried this method at the garden, we have read that it works similarly to diatomaceous earth in the prevention of grasshoppers. The flour is harmless to the plant but will coat the grasshopper’s wings and clog it inside. If you attempt this method, make sure you are using all-purpose flour without any added ingredients!

Newspaper wrapping (tomatoes): To prevent cutworms, we wrap a thin layer of newspaper loosely around your tomato plants when planting. To do this, simply rip a 1 inch strip of newspaper and loosely wrap it around the base of the plant a few times. Then place the plant in the earth and cover the bottom half of the paper collar with dirt so it stays on.


Basil: The oils in basil are said to repel thrips, flies and mosquitoes. We plant basil alongside tomatoes which is said to make them larger and tastier. Basil also tends to keep away tomato hornworms.

Marigolds: Like basil, marigolds are another addition to your garden with a dual purpose. The marigolds are bright and beautiful, and also provide a well-known pest control. Make sure you choose scented marigolds if you are using them as a repellent. It is also important to note that they may attract other insects such as spider mites and snails, so do not use marigolds if you have a problem with these other pests!


Covering: If you are unsure what is getting to your plants, and they are still weak, you can try covering them with a semi-permeable covering. We use Agribon, which is permeable to sunlight and water, yet helps keep bugs out. This covering can also help young plants adjust to the outdoors if they were grown in the comfort of a greenhouse.


Neem Oil: Neem oil acts as an organic pest control for some insects by disrupting their reproductive cycle, while causing other insects to stop eating and starve. Neem oil also remains effective even after the spray has dried on the plant, so it can be used as a preventative insecticide. Unlike synthetic insecticides, neem oil will not harm beneficial insects. It is important to record how often you spray any form of pesticides on your plants so you do not over cover.

Introduction of other beneficial insects: Not all insects that come into your garden are harmful. Many are good pollinators and many others will eat harmful insects. Therefore, it may be useful to encourage these beneficial insects to enter your garden. It is possible to breed them in your garden, but it may be cheaper and more simple to plant items in your garden that these insects, such as ladybugs, lacewings, hoverflies, and some wasps are attracted to. Each of these insects feasts on different pests so be sure to look up which you need to encourage in your garden. Additionally, each is attracted by different plants, such as cilantro flowers, Queen Anne’s Lace, tubular flowers, or clover. Beneficial insects are not attracted to frilly double flowers such as double petunias or hollyhocks, because it is too difficult for them to reach the pollen in a double blossom. It is important to provide a variety of flowers that bloom at different times throughout the season to attract the most beneficial insects to the garden.

More sources for Organic Pest control

Neem Oil

Beneficial insects

Flour method

Bird control

More pests we didn’t mention!

More creative organic control methods

More plants that double as repellents

Green your Summer BBQ

By Sustainability Office on June 21, 2016

By Revee Needham ‘18 (Environmental Studies major from Elko, MN)


With great weather in upstate New York this summer, everyone wants to barbecue. Here are some tips so that your meal is more environmentally friendly!

Bring Reusable Utensils Instead of one-time use plastic cups, plates, utensils, and tablecloths, use more durable materials that won’t end up in the landfill. If you must, choose compostable options, which you can buy in bulk from eco-products.

Fill up Pitchers Avoid water bottles and individual lemonades by serving homemade drinks. Provide a marker so guests can keep track of their cup instead of using multiple. (1)

Designate a Recycling Bin Set up your recycling bin next to your trash to make recycling easiest for everyone. Remind your guests to empty liquids from bottles and cans before recycling.

Choose Electric or Natural Gas Grills Charcoal, propane, and lighter fluids release more fossil fuels and chemicals than electric or natural gas grills. (2)

Pre-heat Wisely It only takes 5-10 minutes for most grills to warm up. You can save energy, money, and cut down on the amount of chemicals released by reducing your grilling time. (2)

Make In-Season Dishes Find out which vegetables and fruits are fit for grilling in the summer. This cuts down on the distance your produce needs to travel to arrive on your plate. Check out https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/nutrition-through-seasons/seasonal-produce to learn more.

Serve Vegetarian Dishes Meat requires much more water and fossil fuels to produce. Look up tasty meat-free dishes to offer for your guests. (1)

Encourage Friends to Walk or Bike Neighborhood events are easy for your guests to travel but you can also help coordinate a carpool if they are coming from further away.

Be Wary of Bug Sprays Avoid DEET repellents as they are toxic for you and the planet. (3) Look for products with picaridin or lemon eucalyptus oil to protect yourself. (4)

Happy grillin’!



Picture: http://www.windward-dayservices.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/bbq-cleaning-brisbane1-620×308.jpg

  1. http://www.nature.org/greenliving/gogreen/everydayenvironmentalist/green-your-summer-bbq.xml
  2. http://www.justenergy.com/blog/your-green-summer-bbq-green-grillin/
  3. http://groovygreenlivin.com/five-tips-to-green-your-barbeque/
  4. http://time.com/3856309/mosquito-repellent-bug-spray/

Greening Reunion 2016

By Sustainability Office on June 17, 2016

With Reunion drawing in over 2,000 alumni, Colgate University decided to green the event. Preparation for reunion has taken place for a while, and thanks to the Alumni Relations Office, biodegradable utensils and cups were provided for all meals served on Friday June 3rd. We are proud to say this prevented sending plastic waste, that would have otherwise been used, to the landfill where it would have sat for over 500 years! No doubt these materials cost slightly more, but the price was definitely worth it. These biodegradable materials and the food will break down in about half a year (1). In addition, the catering team collected all recyclable materials.

Colgate Reunion’s normal food service providers have supplied biodegradable plates, napkins, and utensils for a few years now, and fortunately, this year, the beverage providers were also able to bring biodegradable cups, completing our quest for the biodegradable reunion event. The only trash generated during the Friday meals were ice cream wrappers from the infamous Byrne Dairy Chipwiches and hand-wipes used during the evening BBQ.

To coordinate the effort for a near Zero Landfill Reunion and to educate alums of our efforts, the Sustainability Office had dedicated student volunteers (pictured below) stationed at all bin areas during Friday’s meal times. These volunteers helped alums with what items were recyclable and what items were biodegradable (On your own, you can differentiate between these two by looking for either a leaf symbol or a normal recycling symbol). You can create your own compost pile of food scraps by following the instructions on http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/how-compost. On campus, the Colgate Community Garden also runs a compost program that community members can take part in.

We learned from this event and hope to make next year’s reunion even greener! We’d like to thank our volunteer team of students for their time, energy, and passion for this green event.



  1. http://www.ecoproducts.com/compost.html

Applications now open for the 2016-2017 Green Raider Internship Program

By Sustainability Office on June 15, 2016
Our recently graduated Green Raider interns.

Our recently graduated Green Raider interns

The Sustainability Office is pleased to announce positions for qualified students to implement and manage Colgate’s peer sustainability program. This is an exciting opportunity for Colgate students to get hands-on experience putting sustainability and green living practices into action.

Qualified interns will work up to 12 hours per week, during both fall (2016) and spring (2017) semesters. Official start date is August 22, 2016. Orientation is mandatory and will begin the morning of August 22nd.  Weekly work schedule is flexible, however, we will have mandatory team meetings once every week.


The Green Raiders will model and promote environmentally responsible behavior in on-campus residence halls by inspiring and educating their peers using proven community-based social marketing skills (no prior knowledge necessary). The Sustainability Office will hire enthusiastic, self-motivated, over-achieving students who have demonstrated a commitment to environmental sustainability.  The mission of the Green Raider Program is to help lower Colgate’s ecological footprint, reduce energy costs, and increase student understanding of environmental issues that will have lifetime benefits. More specifically, Green Raiders will:

  • Promote green living practices in each of the residence halls and the larger campus

  • Be an accessible resource to students on campus with any questions they may have about sustainable living

  • Promote the Green Living Program through the use of blogging, social media, email, and other outlets

  • Plan and execute high-profile campus events that engage and educate students with green living practices

  • Create materials and behavior change programs that inspire and influence first-year residents to practice environmental stewardship


FLEXIBILITY AND OPENNESS TO CHANGE. Successful Green Raiders will be individuals who think critically, are problem solvers, can adapt to change, and who can turn a challenge into an opportunity.

TEAM PLAYER. Be a team player and take advantage of peer-to-peer education, learning the best practices from other Colgate Green Raiders. Successful Green Raiders will bring their own “flair” and innovative ideas to the program, but also know how and when to conform to the better judgment of the team as a whole.

BE A MODEL FOR SUSTAINABLE BEHAVIOR. Green Raiders are expected to practice what they preach and model sustainable living by recycling, practicing energy efficiency and water conservation, using alternative transportation, and practice other sustainable living strategies.


  • Solid interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively and respectfully in a collaborative, culturally diverse work environment

  • Detail-oriented and possessing the ability to accomplish results in designated time frames

  • Being comfortable working in a fast moving/changing environment and having the ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously

  • Having the ability to effectively motivate community members to action

  • Possessing strong organizational skills

  • Having very good written and public presentation skills

  • Being computer literate and proficient in the use of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other office applications

  • Proficiency with Google Apps (Drive, Calendar, etc.)

  • Having the ability to maintain a productive and healthy work/life balance

  • Knowledge of design and publicity, as well as associated design programs is helpful

  • Experience using social media networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, is helpful

The Office of Sustainability is particularly interested in applicants who have demonstrated a commitment to sustainability and are interested in using their work in sustainability to support their academic and professional objectives.


  • Updated Résumé

  • One-page cover letter explaining why you are interested in becoming a Colgate Green Raider and why you believe you will be a valuable addition to our team

  • Submit your application through the portal or via email (sdickinson@colgate.edu) by no later than 5:00pm, Friday, July 8, 2016. Successful applicants are expected to begin work on August 22, 2016. Daily work schedule is flexible and contingent on student class schedules, current projects, and scheduled meetings.

  • In order to have the most cohesive team possible, being on campus for the entirety of the academic year is preferred. However, with some current team members going abroad, there may be some flexibility in hiring new Green Raiders who are going abroad.

Contact Steve Dickinson (phone 315.228.6360; email sdickinson@colgate.edu) for additional information or follow-up questions.

Work Parties are the Best Parties

By Sustainability Office on June 14, 2016

The first work party of the season was a success! This past Tuesday, so many people came out to garden and got right down to work. Students filled our melon patch with watermelon, cantaloupe, pumpkins, and winter squash; we can’t wait to watch them grow through the weeks. Others worked on mulching rows of tomatoes with newspaper and straw to help prevent the spread of weeds and pests. Tires donated from NextDoor Hamilton were beautifully spray painted to be used as decorative planters. During a 10 minute downpour students stayed dry and warm by painting rocks for our flower garden underneath the porch. After all the hard work, students enjoyed a lovely meal of slices, freshly picked salad greens, guacamole, and brownies! The garden looked happy and bright and we can’t wait to share all the future progress.


We would also like to say a special congratulations to Good Nature Brewery who celebrated their groundbreaking on Tuesday! GNB will be expanding their business by building a brewery, tap room, beer garden, and hop farm surrounding our garden plot. The event was full of friends, family, professionals, and some delicious GNB beer. Construction should start within the week and continue throughout the year. The relationship between the garden and GNB is one we are eagerly excited to grow in the future.


And with that, the garden is now completely planted! We expect to have our first farm stand this Tuesday, the 14th from 5:30-6:30pm. We will be located on Broad Street, right by the Gamma Phi “Little Blue” house. Our first haul of the season will include some lettuce, spinach, kale, radishes, and herbs! Be sure to come by and take some veggies home for fresh cookin’.


Spring 2016 Green Thumbs Work Party

By Sustainability Office on June 13, 2016

The rain held off long enough for the first official work party of the 2016 Colgate Community Garden season on May 4.  About 15 people came to check off a list of garden tasks and bid farewell to some of the Class of 2016.

The list of tasks included: planting potatoes, planting seeds in the greenhouse, planting pansies in the vertical palette garden, and laying down mulch in the walkways around the community beds. The group made quick work of the tasks and enjoyed some tasty treats from Hamilton Eatery afterwards.

Before the event ended, several seniors who had a role in the garden over the past years were honored: Brett Christensen, Alex Schaff, Quincy Pierce, Grace Littlefield, and Renee Berger.  Their hard work and dedication to the garden over the past several years has allowed the garden to grow and continue to find success.  We wish them the best as they continue on their journey outside of Colgate!

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