By: Frances Einterz Campus Garden Initiative Intern
It is cloudy, uncomfortably cold, and the grass crunches pleasantly under our feet as we walk across the frozen campus. The crocus flowers, confused and eager to bloom prematurely a couple weeks ago have receded, and the gardens on campus: the Hilltop garden, the Bryan House garden, and the SPROUTS garden are sitting quietly under cover crop as they patiently wait on winter to subside.
And yet, there remains a call for volunteers at one Campus Garden (located at Hilltop Garden and Nature Center) every Tuesday from 5-7 p.m., despite the common misconception that there is nothing to do. Instead of moping, weighted down by winter doldrums, allow yourself to be enlightened by the multitude of tasks waiting at the garden!
Currently, a hoophouse at Hilltop garden, filled with empty garden beds, waits to be planted by a small volunteer army unafraid to brave the variable temperatures. Indoors, tender, immature seedlings in the greenhouse await the love and care of a few willing volunteers, and it is important to note that this job is often accompanied by hot chocolate. The compost that so graciously warms the hoophouse is ever in need of turning, and if that is not enticing enough, perhaps the idea of seed inventories or pre-garden planning can excite you!
Gardening may not be for everyone, but certainly its results (vegetables and food!) are. What else is going on as part of the initiative? The steering committee will have another gathering in February, so be on the look out for an upcoming announcement, noting that it is ever in need of student representation. A recent supporter and partner with the initiative, the Collins Sustainable Food Committee, has weekly, delicious meetings and has already had a successful movie showing!
If you cannot make it out to the garden, but would like to learn how to begin a garden of your own, you should never fear for your vegetable and herbs anxiously awaiting your care. Keep reading this blog and we will update on our progress and provide step-by-step guidance as we plan and plant the Campus Gardens throughout the season. Finally, when in doubt, the Campus Garden Initiative could always use a shout-out, so go forth and spread the good, garden word!
If you wish to learn more about the initiative or would like to be more involved, please email Frannie at firstname.lastname@example.org.