Community gardens on campus
- Subject: [cg] Community gardens on campus
- From: Jerome Rigot <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 13:48:01 -0400
I am a new subscriber to this list.
I recently started working for the Ohio State University (I just came
from Santa Cruz, CA), at an agricultural research campus that the
university has in Wooster, Ohio. It is a small campus in a small town,
located at around 80 miles northeast of Columbus.
Anyway, besides my work, I like to garden and to my surprise there are no
community gardens on the campus! There is an extensive international
community, composed mostly of grad students and their families,
post-doctoral researchers and their families, visiting scientists and
Most of these people live in apartments located at walking distance from
the campus, and some members of the families (often with one or several
of them not speaking English ) are kind of stuck during the day in those
apartments (not fun), and would definitely benefit and/or enjoy having
access to community gardens.
I sent a campus wide email regarding the possibility of having community
gardens on campus, and received only positive feedback with many people
interested and already wanting to reserve plots.
Anyway, the reason for this email is that I am in the process of
organizing community gardens, and I want to have a good case to present
to the university administration, which is being cautiously interested
about this project.
I want organic gardening techniques, and I have good arguments to not
have any pesticides spraying on the plot (mostly that this is a community
project, for the community by the community, and the gardens must be safe
for children). Now, regarding fertilization (when I initially brought up
the project, the first reaction was, "ok, let's spray and
fertilize the site, to get it ready". So, if I argue against
synthetic fertilizers, I need to have good arguments because they may say
nitrogen is nitrogen, it doesn't matter what the source is (I am thinking
that I can talk about the environmental impact of synthetic fertilizers,
such as ground water contamination, detrimental effects on soil texture,
porosity, long-term fertility, overall lower vegetable and fruit quality,
such as lower levels of nutrients found in vegetables conventionally
grown as compared to organic grown vegetables).
Any additional input would be appreciated, and references would be really
helpful (this is an academic community after all, and there are several
faculty members on the Grounds committee, to which I am going to present
my proposal for the creation of community gardens on campus).
Also, I was thinking that having a children community plot would be very
great, and a good motivation for families to come to the gardens, the
kids playing and having fun in their garden while the parents take care
of their plots. Of course, it might also promote healthy and educational
interactions between parents/adults and children. So, i have no
experience whatsoever with children's gardens, and would love
resources/inputs. I did visit the ACGA site and the resources listed for
kids gardens. However, I would like more practical advices, such as
designing a kids gardens, what to put in it, how to involve the kids in
the process, etc...So, if any of you would be willing to share experience
and knowledge, please do so. It would be greatly appreciated.
OSU - Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
Dept. of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
1680 Madison Avenue
Wooster, OH 44691
"Technology is of no use to us if it is used without respect for the
earth and its processes." -- Aldo Leopold
...Seek not to know all the answers, but to understand the
"Don't tell me what you believe. Show me what you do 24 hours a day,
and I will tell you what you believe." - Jerry Ruben