Community Garden Opens Doors to All

On Monday, September 29, the Colgate Community Garden hosted an open house for Colgate students and faculty as well as members of the community. Those who attended the event were able to tour the garden and see the variety of crops that are growing there this fall. A farm stand was set up at the event so that those interested could purchase some of the grown goods. Attendees of the open house could also take part in different activities, such as making planters out of empty juice boxes and painting pumpkins and rocks. One of Colgate’s a capella groups, the Resolutions, performed while students, faculty and community members ate Indian food

and desserts.

Colgate vans were available to drive students down the hill to the event. Sophomore Jenna Walczak was one of the students who attended the open house.

“The Community Garden open house was a great event because it brought together Colgate students, faculty and the community in order to display the amazing work that the garden interns are doing every day,” Walczak said.

Sophomore Emily Haines was also at the open house. She helped out at the station making the planters.

“Everyone that made a planter really enjoyed it,” Haines said. “We chose to plant beans because they’re the most likely to thrive even though it’s towards the end of the growing season. Making the planters is a great way to get little kids interested in gardening!”

Junior Quincy Pierce was one of the students who worked to construct the garden over the summer. She continues to intern at the Community Garden this fall and provided tours at the open house. Pierce and junior Brett Christensen, a Community Garden fall intern, spoke about the garden, which is run by the Office of Sustainability. The garden is now located past Colgate’s townhouses, moved from its previous location near the Newell apartments due to frequent flooding. Pierce says this move was part of a plan proposed by student group Green Thumbs.

“[The garden] was behind the Newell apartments down College Street, which is on a flood plain, so it flooded every year,” Pierce said. “[It produced] very low harvests.”

As interns over the summer, Pierce and junior Alex Schaff worked to turn the land into a space where they could grow crops.

“We got here and all of this was grass,” Pierce said, pointing to the open garden around her. “Then somebody tilled it, and it was all dirt. So we had to build all of these raised beds, we had to build everything, we had to plan events, we had to get in touch with the community … build trellises, build the herb garden, build the flower bed, eventually harvest and donate to the Hamilton food cupboard and set up a farm stand that we run every week.”

The farm stand, where members of the Colgate community can buy the local organic food grown in the garden, is at the O’Connor Campus Center (COOP) from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursdays. 

While this is the only place where they are currently selling food from the garden, Pierce says that they hope to expand on this sometime soon.

“Right now we just sell it at the Coop,” Pierce said. “In the future, we hope to get together with Sodexo to have our food in dining services.”

This fall the interns have a variety of responsibilities, including preparing the garden for the winter months.

“A lot of it is – unfortunately for me – tearing up old plants that are now dead and ready to be put in compost, and then eventually we’ll be putting the garden to bed so kind of covering everything up and keeping it good for next season,” Pierce said.