Recent History of the Garden (2010 - Present, Spring 2012)

During 2011, the vermiculture project that began during Spring 2009 was reinvigorated by an undergraduate student at the composting area. Also, Aramark, the university’s dining contractor that oversees all food distribution and retailing on campus, began providing food scraps for composting. These two steps represented a leap forward for the garden, as an increased quantity of compost began to offset the need for external inputs of soil. During the summer of 2011, the sixteen community and teaching beds that had been constructed during Fall 2008 were reconfigured into 4 continuous rows (#3, 4, 5, 6 in Figure 1).

During Spring 2012, an influx of new students to the program saw the transfer of former students’ projects into new hands. The meditation plot was adopted by a new student who introduced native herbs and flowers to the plot, advancing both the original theme of spirituality and the garden’s broader theme of perpetuating native species. Also, a new “succulents” area was created when cactus, agave, and aloe were planted along the eastern exterior of the shade house, a relatively dry and rocky area not suitable for other types of plants. Also, an excess of compostable food scraps dumped by Aramark were used to integrate several “banana circles” into the biofuels demonstration area (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Current Garden Layout Spring 2012 (Note: not drawn to scale)