More than 30 summer interns conducting research and working on campus got a chance to get their hands dirty last week at a volunteer party for Colgate’s recently relocated community garden.
Community garden interns Alex Schaff ‘16 and Quincy Pierce ‘16, under the guidance of garden manager Beth Roy, are working hard in the summer heat and rain to prepare the garden for the upcoming school year. The two interns organized the June 18 garden party and interns from the sustainability office also provided tours and instruction.
“We’re really proud of our work and we really want people involved in the garden” emphasized Pierce. “The party was amazing. Having thirty sets of hands was really helpful. We got so much done in so little time.”
After flooding plagued the previous site near the Newell apartments, a team from campus worked on the move to the Broad Street location, which is just south of the Colgate townhouses and Community Memorial Hospital.
As is fitting for a university garden, Pierce explained that “this is an educational garden. What we’re aiming to do is have community members come here and learn about organic gardening and ways they can garden at home.”
To reinforce the garden’s educational mission, the interns plan to host educational workshops for local summer camps, including those from the Hamilton Center for the Arts.
But the garden’s educational mission doesn’t end there. The interns lend two sets of hands and learn from weekly visits to other local farms and gardens, including the garden at Hamilton College. “We invited [the Hamilton college garden interns] and they came for the work party. I think we learn from them and they learn from us” said Schaff.
Area farmers, Hamilton Central School agriculture teacher Johanna Fox-Bossard, and Sam Stradling from the Hamilton Food Cupboard have donated seedlings and supplies to the garden.
“It’s been really nice to see the generosity that’s pouring out to us as a garden in a new space. It is a great space for students to meet community members and have a common goal,” said Pierce.
The vegetables and herbs grown in the garden will go to the Hamilton Food Cupboard and extra produce will be sold in the O’Connor Campus Center. Students and community members can become garden volunteers by e-mailing the Green Thumbs club at firstname.lastname@example.org.