By Erika Longino, Sustainability Resource Center
As May glows with sunshine, soaks with rain, and brings the soil to life, we become all the more excited to share the time with you! Squash and cucumbers are trellised, garlic is happily mulched, and peas, beets, onions, greens, and radishes are seeded. The soil that is permanently pressed into the creases of our hands speaks testament to our love for springtime in the garden.
But there is so much more to do! Luckily, we’ll have the hands of our first cohort of garden apprentices. The 2015 Edible Campus Gardens Apprentices are Loren Griswold, Caroline Murdoch, Gina D’Alesandro, Carlos Alarco, Kendra Still, Sam Callis, Victoria Russel, Kildem Soto, Elizabeth Totterer, Hannah Stinson and Preston Bisom. Applications for the program are ongoing, and we are looking forward to evolving the program, as well as continuing to educate and include more folks as we go!
The apprentices and volunteers at the campus gardens will help with many projects throughout the summer. We’re brewing gallons of compost tea at the Sill Center to make a probiotic foliar spray for the plants. Much like yogurt for your stomach, compost tea activates the living cultures in garden soil and has many wonderful benefits for plants.
We are also filling the planter boxes outside the Sustainability Resource Center (located in the Business Classroom Building across from the Architecture Building) with edible perennials. As part of a project to enhance ecological and social engagement on campus, this area will be a demonstration space for edible landscaping. The plants are still young, but they will eventually be available for public forage. Members of the University community will be able to pick and consume the grapes, strawberries, medicinal and culinary herbs, and flowers from these planters.
Although the rain has been more conducive to making soup and cozying up inside than gardening, we know that the seedlings and new transplants are thriving with all the moisture. Come volunteer and get to know us and the new apprentices. Sign up for our weekly updates and volunteer sessions.
Erika Longino is a garden steward with the Sustainability Resource Center’s Edible Campus Gardens.