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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.

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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.

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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’.

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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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Colgate Community Garden Summer Updates

By Sustainability Office on June 1, 2016

The Colgate Community Garden is up and running for the 2016 season! Over the past two weeks, we’ve been getting busy at the Garden to make sure that it is in tip-top shape for the huge plans we have for the summer months ahead. We are so excited to share with you all that is happening here!

 

As the last frost date passed last week, we are busy planting away our tender and very tender veggies! In the ground so far we have potatoes, radishes, lettuce, peas, turnips, carrots, beets, beans, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, zucchini, squash, and tomatoes, oh my! We have Sam Stradling of the Hamilton Food Cupboard to thank for starting to grow so many of our plants. In the next few weeks we should start seeing some produce and by the end of June we hope to be selling that produce at our Farm Stand! Until then we will be passing our time weeding away…
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Many of our Community Plot Members have started planting in their raised beds and we are seeing some promising results! Pictured is one member’s’ beautiful grid design with some sprouting lettuce and arugula. Also pictured are our potato towers. Layered with dirt and potatoes and lined with hay, these vertical gardens are easy to set-up, maintain, and harvest!

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Additionally, we are eagerly anticipating the groundbreaking for Good Nature Brewery’s new brewery and hops farm next door! To make way for their building and operations we have relocated our shed and are creating a new entrance on what is now the back-end of the Garden. Construction should begin within the next few weeks and we are excited to see the progress!

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As we pull weed after weed in the Garden, we can’t help but think how wonderful it would be to have some more hands! We would love for volunteers to come help with planting, prepping, watering, and harvesting (or just for a tour!) during our Open Hours, every Tuesday from 12-2pm and Thursdays from 4:30-6:30pm. Our first work party is also coming up on June 7th from 5-7pm; food and drinks will be provided for helping hands. We cannot wait to see you all, whether it be gardening, or munching on veggies at the Farm Stand. Happy planting!

 

Signed, Kaitlin and Anika (Pictured, feeling the #heat in the Garden)

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Green Thumbs Hosts 13 Days of Green Event

By Sustainability Office on May 11, 2016
Student and community volunteers help build a new raised bed at the Colgate Community Garden.

Student and community volunteers help build a new raised bed at the Colgate Community Garden.

A group of students gathered at the Colgate Community Garden on April 21st to complete some tasks as part of the 13 Days of Green campus-wide events. More than 10 people came, ready to work, and ready to eat some delicious food after finishing the work.

The main task planned was building another raised garden bed inside the adjacent greenhouse.  The students used their carpentry prowess (and some pretty snazzy new power tools) to put together a 2’ x 20’ x 12” raised bed made of local larch lumber.  They then muscled some topsoil into the greenhouse to fill the bed so it will be ready to plant in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, other people added compost and manure to existing raised beds in the greenhouse to help add fertility to the soil.  Outside the greenhouse, 4 old car tires were spray painted with various designs.  These tires will later become planters for flowers!

When all was said and done, snacks were eaten, water was consumed, and good company was shared.  The crew did a great job on the first official group work day of the 2016 garden season.  Many thanks to all who participated!


Announcing the 2016 Spring/Summer Garden Internship

By Sustainability Office on February 1, 2016

Department: Sustainability Office
Hours per Week: 6 hrs in spring; 40 hrs in summer

Job Description:
The Sustainability Office is offering two paid Garden Internship positions to students starting in late-April 2016 until late-August 2016. Garden interns will help manage and promote the organic community vegetable/herb garden on campus. This is a physically demanding, yet very rewarding job. Work includes long days and exposure to outdoor elements (e.g., heat, sun, rain, etc.). The student interns are expected to coordinate and organize volunteers and student work parties, as well as carry out an independent garden project from conception to completion. The Garden Interns will report directly to garden manager Beth Roy, and should expect weekly or bi-weekly progress meetings as well as an end of season performance review. Interns will work in close collaboration with other Colgate students, faculty, and staff to plan and manage the garden. The student interns will gain life-long skills and knowledge in planting and maintaining an organic 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 spring and summer seasons. Specific tasks 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 those work parties.
● Manage an individual garden project, from conception to completion.
● Provide continuity for work on the garden throughout the 2016 growing season.

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
Student interns will begin planning for the garden in late-March and will begin field work in late-April, working 6 hours per week. In May interns will begin to work 40 hours per week until the internship ends in August—the exact starting and ending dates will be set in consultation with Beth Roy. The two interns will also be able to take two weeks (non-overlapping) of vacation during the summer; again, this schedule will be set in consultation with Beth Roy.

To apply, send resume and one page cover letter to garden manager, Beth Roy (eroy@colgate.edu). The application deadline is March 18.

Starting Hourly Rate: spring semester – $9.30 (estimated because Financial Aid determines pay rate); summer – $10.00
Supervisor: Beth Roy, Garden Manager
Key Contacts: John Pumilio, Director of Sustainability; Christopher Henke, Associate Professor, Director of Upstate Institute and faculty advisor to the garden; Beth Roy, Colgate Community Garden Consultant


Now hiring: Community garden interns for the fall semester!

By Sustainability Office on July 29, 2015

Two students working to plant the Community Garden at Colgate.

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 late-August 2015 until November 2015 (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 another garden intern 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 2015 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 14. Employment will begin on or around August 24.


Colgate Community Garden Summer Programs

By Sustainability Office on July 27, 2015

Article by Beth Roy, manager, Colgate Community Garden

The Colgate Community Garden team has been hard at work this summer in our new location just south of the Colgate Townhouses on route 12B.  The garden is thriving, and there are several events in July and August that we would like to share with you.

OPEN HOURS
Come to the garden for a tour or to lend a helping hand! One of the members of the garden team will be there to greet you.

  • When: Mondays 5:00-7:00 p.m.; Fridays 2:00-4:00 p.m.

WEEKLY FARM STAND
Purchase fresh, organically grown produce from the Community Garden each week at the Farm Stand.

  • Where: 104 Broad Street (through August; will move to the COOP once the semester begins)
  • When: Tuesdays from 4:00-5:30 p.m.

COMMUNITY GARDEN PLOTS
Interested in gardening but don’t have a lot of space to garden where you live?  Interested in being a part of the Colgate Community Garden?  The garden has a community plot program where you can rent a space in the garden each year for a small fee.

Think it’s too late in the year to start a garden?  Think again!  We will supply you with the information you need to plant a successful fall garden.  Individual and group applicants both encouraged.  This could be a great opportunity for your campus group to come together to learn about growing your own food!

If interested, please contact garden manager Beth Roy (eroy@colgate.edu).

GARDEN UPDATES

We hope to see you soon!


Gardening sustainably: potato towers

By Sustainability Office on July 13, 2015

SpudPlantsUrban gardening is a very useful practice to learn. It is a skill that can be used at nearly any home in any location, no matter the size of the yard you have to contend with. Gardening this way maximizes the efficiency at which space is used, therefore allowing very small places to contain much more than they could with normal gardening techniques.

One example of this style of gardening that we use in the Colgate Community Garden is the potato tower. To make a potato tower, you start of with 3 to 4 feet of wire fencing formed into a cylinder. Next you create a barrier of straw all around the cylinder to keep the soil from falling out of the openings. Then you place about 6-8 inches of soil in the bottom of the cylinder, atop a little “nest” of straw, and place several small seed potatoes in a circle around the inside of the fencing.  Repeat the soil and potato layers until you reach the top of your cylinder. The potatoes will begin to grow out of the sides of the potato “tower” and be ready to harvest once they have flowered and the plants begin to die back. At this point, you simply tip the tower over and let all the potatoes fall right out. You can usually expect about 10 potatoes to grow for every one you placed in the tower!

One of the primary goals of the Colgate Community Garden is to educate people about gardening practices.  Recently, members of the Colgate garden team went to Hamilton Central School to show students there how to build these towers. After a brief introduction about the garden, 15-20 students from two different classes built four towers for their own garden at the high school.


Colgate’s Community Garden Partners with Dining Services & Hamilton Food Cupboard

By Sustainability Office on June 22, 2015

Student in the Community Garden

The Colgate Community Garden is once again partnering with Dining Services to bring more local food into the dining facilities at Colgate.  At the beginning of each week, members of the Community Garden sends a list of the fresh vegetables and herbs to Dining Services.  Dining Services then places their order. Veggies and herbs are then harvested by the garden team and transported to Frank Dining Hall that same day.  So far this year, six different varieties of herbs and several early season greens have been utilized in various campus dining events. This partnership will continue as Chartwells takes over Colgate’s Dining Services.

The Colgate Community Garden continues to maintain a close relationship with the Hamilton Food Cupboard.  Approximately half of what is harvested each week at the garden is donated to the Food Cupboard.  Once again in early 2015, Sam Stradling and the folks at the Food Cupboard  started and tended to several different varieties of vegetables in their small heated greenhouse.  These seedlings were donated to the Colgate Community Garden, in exchange for the fresh veggies that will come from the plants later in the season.

Stay tuned for how you can obtain some of the garden’s fresh produce- a summer Farm Stand is in the works!


The Colgate Community Garden Finds a Positive Purpose For Beer

By Sustainability Office on June 16, 2015

Slug beer canThe Colgate Community Garden uses organic practices, and this means traditional fertilizers and pesticides are off limits. So sometimes we have to get creative when pests come knocking on our garden gates. Our first pest encounter this season has been the dreaded slug.  These particular slugs have developed a taste for our cabbage and brussels sprout seedlings.  One morning we noticed that our once beautiful, leafy cabbage was getting chewed up.  The culprit had left behind a shimmering, slimy residue- our first hint that slugs were the problem.

Luckily it turns out that in addition to cabbage and brussel sprouts, slugs are also fond of yeast. Some plastic cups of beer planted among the rows of cabbage provides an organic, cheap and easy answer to a slug problem. The slugs are attracted to the yeast in the beer, then when they go to get a refreshing drink, they fall into the beer and drown! Not a happy story for the slugs, but effective pest control. Add the fact that cheap beer is easily accessible for free at the end of a semester at Colgate and you’ve got a perfect solution!

Every couple of days we change out the beer and find thirty or forty slugs at a time. After less than a week, our cabbage plants are looking much happier, which in turn makes for a happy garden team!

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