Campus gardens to grow with help from grant

With the help of some greenbacks, two community gardens on campus will be a little greener next season.

GroW Gardens, which donates its sustainable produce to Miriam’s Kitchen, won $10,000 from the 2011 Gardens for Good Grant.

The grant money, sponsored by organic food company Nature’s Path, will be used to spruce up and expand campus gardens, Sophie Waskow, project facilitator in the Office of Sustainability, said.

Waskow and Rebecca Remis, president of the Food Justice Alliance, suggested using the money to expand the plant beds and create a protective border of berry bushes around the H Street gardens.

“This money is exactly what we needed,” Jesse Schaffer, garden management fellow with the Office of Sustainability, said. “All of this money is going to be put toward necessities, such as putting in more compost, getting a better hose and plans for increasing production in the spring.”

GroW Gardens received 4,438 votes on Facebook, helping it become one of three winners in the Gardens for Good competition, which received over 90 proposals.

The competition also gives GroW Gardens access to technical support from Organic Gardening Magazine.

“We help with things like planning – looking at the type of soil or deciding whether to create raised beds – or provide assistance with things like building an enclosure or irrigation systems,” Ginger Horsford, marketing coordinator for Organic Gardening magazine, said.

The GroW Community Garden contains carrots, beats, turnips, radishes, herbs and kale.

“People expect that we are just growing a little bit of food, but we actually have a wide variety of different vegetables that we are producing,” Schaffer said. “The fact that this group is producing local vegetables in an urban center is amazing and beautiful.”

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