Campus Gardens

A little trip down garden memory lane.

Sara gardenFirst, many thanks to Sara Trunzo, Unity’s Food and Farm Project Coordinator in the Community-Based Learning Office.  In her work as an AmeriCorps*VISTA — a year-long term that runs into September, 2010 — Sara continues to support campus food programs, though this season with a different focus.  Sara won’t be our garden manager for 2010, but she’ll be around, and has offered her support for the program.

Sara’s tireless efforts as our primary grower for the last two seasons built on the good work of previous campus gardeners — including Director of Dining Services Sandy Donahue, and Student Center Director Charlie Krause.  During the school year, two work-study students are employed to work on garden and food related projects.  Students, staff, and faculty have worked hard over the years to develop the campus garden into a valuable asset to our campus and the community, allocating time and financial resources to ensure its success.  With the recent addition of our Agriculture, Food, and Sustainability major, and an increased interest in local food in Dining Services, we’re evolving our garden program to meet multiple campus and community needs.

So, what’s happening this summer?

  • LettuceWe’re hiring again!  Unity College has funded two garden positions focused exclusively on campus food production this season.  Our Garden Manager will work 20 hours a week and will be primarily responsible for the garden, including supervision of the Assistant.  Our Sustainable Food Production Assistant will be a full-time worker from May through August doing the bulk of the work.  We’ll be filling these positions quickly, so be prepared to apply soon if you’re interested.
  • We’re pleased to announce that Veggies For All, a project of the Unity Barn Raisers, is “moving in.”  Veggies For All grows vegetables for the food insecure, distributing fresh produce to those most in need primarily through the Volunteer Regional Food Pantry.  Project Leader Tim Libby has identified several plots on campus and will be digging in over the coming weeks.  Veggies For All will have its home base of operations here at the College, and will continue to grow food at other locations in the Unity area.  Stay tuned for ways you might be able to get involved with this exciting project.
  • We do not intend to offer community garden plots again this summer.  Demand for personal garden space has waned in recent years and we’re excited to use more area to increase production for Dining Services and Veggies For All.  If you’d like to discuss this further please get in touch with Jesse at x295 or jpyles@unity.edu
  • We want to get as much food as we can into the dining hall in September and October (and beyond) from our campus garden.  We’ve met with Dining Services staff to identify those crops most useful to them (e.g., high-value items like peppers and tomatoes, and produce that can be processed and/or stored for use later in the year like basil for pesto).  We aim to support special events with campus-grown food this fall as well, including the statewide Student Climate Summit and the annual Hunters and Huggers dinner.
  • With increased summer programming, we’ll be doing our best to make sure the salad bar is full for the Maine Arts Camp and other visiting groups. 

Ideas?  Concerns?  Suggestions about campus gardens?  Contact Jesse in the Sustainability Office at x295.

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About Jesse