Thanks to support from the Dean of the Faculty’s office along with faculty, students, and staff, last year was an exciting season for the Colgate Community Garden. Last spring, the garden was moved from College Street to a new location on Broad Street south of the Townhouses called the Snyder Property. Through lots of hard work and determination, the new 1⁄2 acre garden produced over 2000 pounds of food last growing season – the most we have had since the garden project started in 2010!
The garden team was led by garden consultant, Beth Roy and student interns Alex Schaff ’16, Quincy Pierce ’16, Brett Christensen ’16, and Glenna Thomas ’17. The Garden Interns were assisted in the spring and fall semesters by the student club, Green Thumbs, along dozens of student volunteers.
More than 100 individuals came to the garden throughout the season for visits or to volunteer their time. We are also grateful to all the Facilities’ staff who helped at the garden with tasks such as delivering wood chips and mowing, and were instrumental in the garden relocation process.
Approximately half of the produce that was harvested at the Colgate Community Garden was sold to students, faculty, staff and community members at a farm stand in the COOP. The Farm Stand was constructed by intern Alex Schaff ’16 and was opened and filled with vegetables every Thursday. Students were able to pay for their produce in cash or by using their ‘Gate Card. Any produce that was not sold was donated to the Hamilton Food Cupboard.
For the 2014 growing season, approximately 60-70% of all produce that was grown was donated to the Hamilton Food Cupboard. For the second year in a row, Sam Stradling and the Food Cupboard donated several plants to the Garden in exchange for the donation of fresh produce later in the season.
The Garden also contained a number of raised bed garden plots available to Colgate community members who planted, managed, and harvested some of their own food. For the 2015 growing season, we hope to expand the number of raised beds available to our community.
In 2015, we will also create a new “demonstration area.” This area of the garden will focus on new and innovative ideas in vegetable gardening (e.g., straw bale gardens, potato towers, and others).
Cooking classes or demonstrations will continue to be a goal of the garden. The team hopes to continue to work with Susan Weitz of the Chapel House, and perhaps even team up with Dining Services and the Shaw Wellness Institute to have cooking demonstrations on campus at the COOP.
If you have ideas on how to make the garden even more successful and/or want to get involved in any way, please contact Green Thumbs (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.