By Anand Venigalla
The Coalition for Conservation club has new pumpkins and sunflowers growing in the campus garden. Students in the coalition worked over the summer to care for the garden to prepare for the harvest this fall.
Both the pumpkins and sunflowers were planted in late June, and will be used for ornamental purposes. The sunflowers will be harvested this month, and the pumpkins in late September into October. Various lettuces, kales, mustards, radishes and spinach were also planted in the summer.
“The purpose of the Post Student Garden is as a forum to teach about where our food comes from and for students to get a hands- on experience growing vegetables and eating fresh, organic food straight from the garden,” said Vic DiVenere, associate professor of geology for the soon-to-be Department of Biology and Environmental Science, and the club’s faculty adviser.
“The greens grew the most between May and July. We would usually have a club member or Dr. DiVenere stop by two to three times a week to water the entire garden, and harvest the greens in the middle of the week. In mid-July, the pumpkin plants, marigolds, and sunflowers started to sprout, and have since then been blooming full of color,” Grace Kim, a freshman nursing student and one of the Coalition’s members, said.
The Coalition has high hopes for the use of some of the garden’s plants. They plan to harvest and eat the plants, teach others how to grow them and share recipes using the home grow veggies.
“In the near future, it would be ideal to have the club market the harvested produce from the farm and have them sold and provided to Post students, faculty and to our dining halls for use in on-campus dining. Hopefully, we will continue to add new varieties of fruits and vegetables to diversify the garden into a greater edible landscape,” Kim said.
The goals for the club are to promote further student engagement, maintain the farm during the cooler seasons, lessons on the science behind soil irrigation methods, pest management and other ways to educate the student body about preserving the earth.
The garden is located east of the Facilities Services and Public Safety building.