Working in the Gardens

by Terence Duff

Engaged in the world and comprehending the demands we put on our ecosystem, I decided to get involved. I began working with the campus gardens through an internship and

Terence Duff working in the gardens.

Terence Duff working in the gardens.

also to fulfill a service learning credit, but eventually my predecessor had to venture off and I signed on. I have yet to regret it.

Working in the greenhouse atop the biology building, I plant the majority of seedlings to be nurtured and transplanted into our two outdoor, on-campus garden spaces, the Sill and Pioneer Gardens. The gift of an indoor greenhouse space reaps rewards with hundreds of plant starts that grow under fluorescent lights and daily tender care. Yet for me, my experience changes when we go onto the land and work beyond our comfort level and get dirty.

Building the soil through successions of seasonal plantings, our garden crew of volunteers and stewards grow a bounty of life-giving fruits and vegetables. Through hard work in the heat of summer and wet of spring and fall, we have been able to provide a space at our University that is truly unique, student powered, edible, and most importantly green!

We need green space on campus to further sustainability on all levels. Walk, bus, train, bike, scooter, skate to campus and promote a lifestyle. Our garden at the Pioneer grew out of a decrepit lawn and extremely poor soils. Through SCIF fund grants, student efforts, and Professor Emeritus Fred Montague’s initiative to build these living laboratories on campus, the land has since been gradually rejuvenated and “reclaimed”. On a campus dominated by built spaces and concrete, the gardens offer a green, edible refuge.

The produce is harvested and sold at the campus farmer's market.

The produce is harvested and sold at the campus farmer’s market.

The Edible Campus Gardens simply reinforces my prior beliefs and enhances and develops new ideas, leading to
self-reliance and commitment to consciousness. It challenges me to be more aware about food and sustainability issues and to speak up, to challenge my peers and leaders to work together and commit to what is right and just for all.

Terence Duff

Edible Campus Garden Steward

Undergraduate Environmental and Sustainability Studies

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