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Community garden bears much fruit…and veggies

community_gardenThe Augsburg Community Garden started as a small seed and has sprouted into a beautiful space on campus. The garden has gathered much attention and promises even more action for the next year. In order to celebrate the garden’s achievements, a Harvest Garden Party will be held on Thursday, October 2 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in the Community Garden on the west edge of campus behind parking Lot G.

The garden began as part of the Campus Kitchens Project, Augsburg’s program that recycles leftover food and serves meals at places of need. The initial purpose was to grow food for Campus Kitchens. Also, the garden would host Community Health Originates in Creating Environmental Sustainability (Project CHOICES) to teach urban students about food production and nutrition. These students would grow produce and learn how to cook healthy meals.

In its first year, the garden contained seven raised beds behind Moretensen Tower. Campus Kitchens and Project CHOICES shared this small space with women from the East African Women’s Center.

The new garden, planted last spring, contains 40 plots. Each individual plot owner decided what to sow, so consequently the garden featured everything from asparagus to zucchini. Augsburg students, staff, and faculty, as well as a number of outside community members, maintained the plots.

Donations from GardenWorks and other community members helped complete the border garden of native wildflowers, perennial produce, annual flowers, and daylilies. This organization offers resources and support to community gardens all across the Twin Cities, providing information and free plants. GardenWorks also organizes the annual Parade of Community Gardens, a self-guided walking tour of Minnesota green spaces.

Students in professor Phil Adamo’s “The History of Labyrinths” summer class constructed a turf maze on the north end of the garden. Next spring, planners hope to add more plots and a patio to the space.

Beds from the old garden space were recycled by the Engineers Without Boarders club and are being used in grass sustainability and carbon capturing projects. The environmental studies department also hopes to conduct research using them.

For more information about the garden or to apply for a plot, contact the Center for Service, Work, and Learning.

Story by Ruth Senum, garden intern, ASAC Vice President, and Marketing & Communications intern

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