Planting Begins for Community Garden’s Second SeasonThe green thumbs of some Green Knights are providing food for the community and the college.
Last year, in its inaugural season, the St. Norbert College Garden Club donated nearly 1,800 pounds of fresh, organically grown produce to Paul’s Pantry in Green Bay. Building on the garden’s success, club members are looking to expand their outreach.
One goal is to secure a hoop house to extend the growing season, says Malorie Imhoff ’15, club president. A hoop house would support a partnership with the college cafeteria to use more locally grown, organic food on campus.
“We’ve been working with them about certain herbs that are really expensive for them to buy elsewhere and would be really easy for us to grow,” Imhoff says.
Another expansion target in this second season is the creation of a food stand. Patrons would be able to purchase pre-picked produce or pick their own. Costs would remain consistent with local prices so as not to undercut local growers, who rely on produce sales as a financial means, says Imhoff. One section of the garden would be designated for donating. All excess produce would also be donated.
The Garden Club developed from a food justice class taught by Robert Pyne (Community Engagement). Maria Howe ’15, co-founding club president, was a student in the class. Through collaboration with Pyne, the Vegetarian Club and others, ground was broken on the community garden in April of 2013.
In addition to the pantry donations, community partnerships also included taking part in Harvest Fest and receiving compost donations from area businesses such as Luna. According to Imhoff, community involvement links the three main components of the Garden Club: environment, food justice and education.
Pyne and the Norman Miller Center for Peace, Justice & Public Understanding, along with President Tom Kunkel, provided initial funding for the garden. More assistance from faculty and staff who have gardening experience is needed, says Imhoff. The majority of the growing season occurs while students are on summer break, so faculty and staff volunteers play an important role in sustaining the garden.
May 6, 2013