October - November 2008

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Lee Capristo
Director of Publications
Email: lwcapristo@smcm.edu
Anne Arundel 100

Campus Garden Gets a Makeover

The College’s community garden is yielding its final produce for the year, meaning it is time to start thinking about Fall clean-up.

The garden, located next to the Daugherty-Palmer Commons parking lot and run by student members of the Community Gardening Club, got an extensive makeover this year. “Members and friends of SEAC have been working hard to cultivate a place the campus can be proud of,” says Yang-Yi Chen ’09, club president. The first garden was built in 2001 as a St. Mary’s Project by student Garrett Kelly ’02, “and has been a perennial space for the campus community to enjoy gardening” since then, says Yang-Yi.Community Garden

Renovations include a raised herb garden box and sturdy fences built by SEAC (Student Environmental Action Coalition) members and Taylor Sinclair ’08, with salvaged bricks from the demolished Public Safety building along Route 5. The garden walkways have been paved with slate shingles from the same building.

With some serious green thumbs and patience, says Yang-Yi, volunteers who stayed near the campus this summer were able to harvest enough vegetables to supply the Great Room with leeks and tomatoes. Senior Guy Kilpatric says, “I have been harvesting at least a bucketful of vegetables a day now.” Produce goes to volunteers’ kitchens, some is given away and – if there is a huge surplus – some is sold.

All the produce is organically grown. “We use no pesticides, and the fertilizer is the compost prepared directly from our kitchen scraps and coffee grinds,” says Yang-Yi, who confesses it has become a habit to forage for “yummy” tomatoes right off the vine.

The garden is not separated into individual plots; student volunteers work it all. Future plans include a second, larger compost bin just for scraps from the Campus Center facilities.

Yang-Yi, an art major, moved to EcoHouse this school year, a specialty house where students put as many sustainability efforts into practice as possible. “It’s close to the garden, so we will be growing some of our food there; we should have lettuce and some root vegetables into the winter.”

Check out the club’s Web site.