Most people know that George Washington was a revolutionary war hero, a founding father and America’s first president. Fewer know of his skills as a farmer.
But just like the name behind the University, a group of GW students have put their gardening skills to work in hopes of teaching people about the benefits of locally-grown food.
The GW GroW Community Garden had its first seeds planted Saturday morning. Located in the 2400 block of H Street across from Amsterdam Hall, the garden is the brainchild of the GW Food Justice Alliance, a new student organization founded in the spring of 2009 by a group of undergraduates from the organization Students for Fair Trade.
Their aim is to teach people who and where their food comes from through service learning. The garden is a way to join GW students and Foggy Bottom residents, forging a new kind of community relationship through volunteering, group members said.
Amanda Formica, the project manager and president of the FJA, said the day was productive, as the group was able to plant three garden beds with an array of produce including lettuce, spinach, radishes, arugula, and turnips. She added that the group worked with the Mount Vernon Estate – where GW’s namesake lived – to choose produce that George and his wife Martha would have had in their gardens.
Juliana Taube, an executive board member of the FJA, said she hopes the garden will help teach GW students about their food.
“I think it is important that people know where their food comes from and I think it is incredibly empowering to be able to grow your own food supply,” Taube said.
As the FJA’s project continues to blossom, they will begin selling their crops at the local farmers’ market and donate some of the crops to Miriam’s Kitchen – a local food bank – as well as other food pantries in the area.
Sept. 10, 2009
The article originally stated that students from the College of Professional Studies founded the Food Justice Alliance.