Home - Distinctly Colgate - Sustainability - Sustainability News
Sustainability News

Latest Posts

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!


Greenhouse Recovering Project 2015

By Sustainability Office on May 27, 2015

Student under greenhouse plastic

It was 6:00am on Monday, May 4 and the sun was just peeking above the horizon.  Most of Colgate was still sound asleep…but the garden team was busy at work with the final major project on their To Do list since the garden relocation began in 2014. The greenhouse that is a part of the Colgate Community Garden’s new location was finally get the facelift it needed.
A crew of about 15 students, faculty and staff were led by local farmers Brendan O’Connor and Colin Nevison in replacing the cover of the garden’s greenhouse.  The old cover was made of a white plastic, common in businesses such as Snyders Nursery, the previous owner of the greenhouse. But for the community garden’s operations, a clear plastic covering will be more effective. The clear plastic will allow more light to penetrate, raising temperatures within and allowing the community garden to extend their growing season both earlier in the spring and later into the fall.

The crew of volunteers and workers were able to take off the old cover and install the new one in about 5 hours.  The effects of the new cover are already evident- the temperatures inside the greenhouse are significantly higher and spring greens are growing nicely!
Thank you to all who helped with this latest garden project.  We couldn’t have done it without all of you!

Greenhouse with new covering


Get ready for the 13 Days of Green!

By Sustainability Office on March 25, 2015

By Ben Schick ’17

As March comes to a close and Hamilton begins to thaw out of the frozen tundra that has engulfed campus for four months, Colgate prepares for the coming of its annual 13 Days of Green.  13 Days of Green is a campus wide event lasting from April 10-April 22 that aims at raising environmental awareness on campus.  The event offers educational programming, events, and competitions that engage students in sustainability on campus and give them the tools necessary to lead a sustainable lifestyle.

This year’s 13 Days of Green consists of a variety of events that highlight different ways organizations around campus are working to make Colgate more sustainable. The full schedule for the 13 Days of Green will be available on the Colgate mobile app starting next week. However, here are some events to look out for:

  • Ongoing:  Window sticker design competition.  Colgate wastes large amounts of heat every winter due to open windows in residence halls.  Students can help Colgate save heat and energy by designing a window sticker reminding students to keep their windows shut during the winter.  The artist of the winning design will win a gift card to a restaurant in downtown Hamilton.
  • April 11:  Head down to the Community Garden at 1pm to get a tour of the garden and learn about sustainable gardening practices.  Food from Hamilton Whole Foods will be provided.
  • April 14:  Sustainable and local food brownbag.  Led by Environmental Studies Professor April Baptiste and Director of Sustainability John Pumilio, this brown bag will look at Colgate’s initiatives to incorporate sustainably grown and local foods into our dining halls.  We will also explore the emerging local food market network in Hamilton, NY.
  • April 16:  Vegetarian dietician appointments.  Led by the Shaw Wellness center, students have an opportunity to talk one-on-one with a vegetarian dietician to learn how to adopt a nutritious and balanced plant-based diet.  Sign up for a one hour slot from 4-8pm by emailing rhangley@colgate.edu.
  • April 18:  Tree planting with COVE Sidekicks from 1-3pm.  Sidekicks will be celebrating Earth Day by planting saplings at the top of the old ski hill.  There will also be tours of the Darwin Thinking Path and environmentally friendly snacks. All are invited!
  • April 22 (Earth Day):  The 13 Days of Green culminates with the Oak Awards.  Formerly known as the Green Awards, the “Oakies” recognize individuals and groups on campus that have made a positive impact on Colgate’s campus through sustainability-related efforts.  Come join us for the award ceremony and free dinner from Hamilton Whole Foods.  In addition, if you wish to nominate an individual or group for an Oakie, please fill out this form:https://docs.google.com/a/colgate.edu/forms/d/1zaYwaqVmhvylk0CEKCvKMbAqOxiQyHUukiaEI6fzWy0/viewform.

While the 13 Days of Green is a fantastic event that engages students in sustainable living at Colgate, it is by no means the only opportunity students have to get involved in sustainability on campus.  There are countless ways students can immerse themselves in sustainability on campus.  The events, workshops and competitions of the 13 Days of Green is meant to serve as a starting point for students on their road to living a sustainable life now and in the future.  For more information, on how you can get involved beyond the 13 Days, visit colgate.edu/green.


Colgate Community Garden Plot Program Launches

By Sustainability Office on March 13, 2015

rsz_p1060703-1

The Colgate Community Garden is now accepting applications for its 2015 Garden Plot Program. This is an exciting opportunity for individuals in the community to be able to tend their own garden plot within the Colgate Community Garden. The garden team hopes for the Colgate Community Garden to become a place where community members can come together to enjoy learning about gardening and sustainable living.

Each of the garden plots offered are approximately 4 ft. W x 8 ft. L x 10 in. H.  Plots are constructed using rot-resistant, untreated lumber.  Program participants will have access to the garden and garden tools but must provide their own seeds and plants.  A $25 annual fee per plot and $5 annual refundable deposit is required for use of one of the garden plots. A Garden Plot Agreement must also be signed by participants, showing agreement to following the rules and guidelines established by the Colgate Community Garden.

Community Garden Plot space is limited and applications will be accepted first-come, first-served. For more information about this program or to apply for a garden plot,  please contact Community Garden Manager Beth Roy (eroy@colgate.edu, 315-335-1433).

rsz_p1040809


2014 Community Garden Annual Report

By Sustainability Office on February 11, 2015

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. farm stand_opt 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 (greenthumbs@colgate.edu) for more information.


A More Sustainable Sodexo at Colgate University

By Sustainability Office on January 23, 2015

Update: January 23, 2015
During spring semester 2015, Sodexo introduced local burgers every Tuesday during lunch and Thursday during dinner at Frank Dining Hall.  They are also introducing a new local quesadilla to the COOP in February!  These are popular items for students who want to support sustainability and our local economy.

By Emily Adams ‘15, Sodexo sustainability intern & Environmental Geography major and Peace and Conflict Studies minor

I am very passionate about advancing sustainability on campus by sourcing more fresh, local and sustainable foods at Colgate. YUM! For this reason, I was very excited when I became Sodexo’s new sustainability intern on campus. I can’t imagine a more exciting opportunity at this stage in my Colgate experience! Additionally, Sodexo is in the process of hiring a Food Service Manager of Sustainability Programs.  Together, we will be working to make positive changes to the dining services here at Colgate.

Colgate’s Sustainable Food Systems Advisory Group – a group of students, faculty, and staff – in partnership with Sodexo are already working together on exciting new initiatives to make food more sustainable on campus. We are working towards goals of enhanced transparency surrounding the sourcing of our food, larger amounts of local and sustainably grown food, increased interaction with and purchasing from local farmers, and reduced food and overall waste.

Sodexo already sources some local foods.  However, in the past students had no way of knowing which foods were locally produced.  Because it is important to know who is growing our food, we have begun to label local foods throughout our dining facilities. These foods are now being displayed with specific references to the New York town or farm where they are coming from. Additionally, a large map of New York State, which shows where we are obtaining different local foods, now greets students as they enter Frank Dining Hall.

New York Map_opt

Map of foods produced in New York and served in Frank Dining Hall.

In addition to increased labeling, Frank Dining Hall has started a new weekly Farm-to-Table Sunday dinner in which the entire meal consists of only locally sourced foods. In conjunction with this local dinner, the area farmers who source these meals will be highlighted in weekly fact sheets posted alongside the menus. This will increase knowledge about who is growing Colgate’s food and how it is being produced. Stay tuned as we are also working on developing local burger and quesadilla options for the Coop.

Reducing food waste is another important way to advance sustainability in dining services.  For this reason, we will be providing tasting samples of food so that students do not have to take a full portion of a meal to determine whether or not they will eat it. There is also a new “Spotted” reusable mug program where coupons for free 16 oz. hot drinks at any dining location will be rewarded to people seen using reusable mugs on campus.

We are really excited about the future of sustainable dining at Colgate.  By sourcing more local and sustainable foods and by reducing our overall waste, we hope to be able to make significant positive changes in every students’ dining experience while also reducing our ecological and carbon footprints. With your help, we know we can reduce energy usage and waste from production, transportation, and storage; support our local economy; and obtain fresher, more nutrient-rich food.


Now accepting applications for spring/summer garden interns!

By Sustainability Office on January 21, 2015

rsz_img_2450

Job Title:

2015 Community Vegetable Garden – Student Interns

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 2015 until late-August 2015. 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.

To apply, send a resume and one page cover letter to garden manager, Beth Roy (eroy@colgate.edu). The application deadline is March 3.

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 2015 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 3.

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 and faculty advisor to the garden;  Beth Roy, Colgate Community Garden Consultant

css.php