Friday, June 17, 2011

Colgate Community Vegetable Garden hosts its first Work Party of the 2011 season!

Members of the Colgate campus community showed up yesterday afternoon for the first Colgate Vegetable Garden Work Party of the 2011 season!

The Colgate vegetable garden is in its second season, having been established in June of last year. The garden is managed during the summer by two student interns - Ray Peña ('12) and Jess Halter ('13). Cazenovia resident and life-long gardener Stacey Nagle works as a part-time consultant for the garden, lending her expertise to Ray and Jess.

Ray, Jess, and Stacey have had their hands full so far this season, battling weeds and recreating raised beds that had been swept away by heavy Spring flooding earlier this year. Their hard work is paying off, and many crops have been planted, including squash, cucumbers, carrots, heirloom tomatoes, hot peppers, and radishes to name a few. The garden crew has plans for an herb garden in the near future as well.

Yesterday's work party was attended by a number of volunteers from the campus community. The volunteers helped spread black mulch on the raised plant beds, and in so doing helped the recently planted crops retain water. Volunteers also helped spread wood chips on paths between the raised beds, which will allow visitors the chance to explore the garden without being mired in mud. After their hard work, volunteers were treated to Iced Tea and shade by the garden shed.

Colgate's Community Vegetable Garden is an excellent example of the kinds of sustainability initiatives occuring all over the campus. The garden was conceived of by students and financed by Colgate's Sustainability Fund and the Sustainability Council. In its second year, the garden hopes to involve the campus community - students, staff, faculty, and Hamilton residents - in the gardening process, and promote sustainable agriculture. Come harvest time, the crops will be made available to students at the garden shed, located next to the garden in the area behind the Newell Apartments.

Students wishing to get involved with the garden can join the Green Thumbs campus group ( or contact the Sustainability Office ( Jess, Ray, and Stacey hope to host more work parties over the summer and fall, and welcome the assistance of anyone interested. Follow Colgate Sustainability on twitter (@colgatesstnblty), or on Facebook () for information about future Garden work parties and all things green at Colgate!

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