The Good Food Project
Year End Report and Mission Statement
For Spring, Summer and Fall 2010
Edited by Ben R. Dair ’11
The Garden in Spring
During the spring semester of 2010, Ben Dair and Jesse Marshall co-managed the garden at the corner of Cedar and Elm. A number of physical improvements greatly boosted both the area and productivity of the garden.
The construction of a sturdy bamboo-and-mesh fence prevented animals from munching on our seedlings and transplants, enabling safe photosynthesis for the entire growing season.
We successfully elevated kale and spinach plants by building raised beds from recycled shipping pallets in the medium-sized plot occupied by perennial raspberries, strawberries and asparagus.
One small bed inherited from Learning for Life added another 30% of growing space for pole beans and squash.
Having been asked to care for the President’s Kitchen Garden, we planted tomatoes and peppers.
A number of all-campus events boosted the social impact of the Good Food Project. Our new grill that allowed us to feed our hungry gardeners was a big hit with new volunteers.
The Planting Parlor Party in March has become a tradition where students bring cups and soda bottles to transform into mini-planters to bring back to their dorm rooms. The number of seedlings returned from the event was quite impressive.
During the Parents’ Weekend Gardening Party, the careful use of a rototiller shredded sod expand to the large bed by about one-third. This new soil supported kale and chard, cucumbers and basil.
The greenhouse space so generously shared with us in the new Wister Center is a major benefit for the Good Food Project as it allows us to start seedlings in a consistently managed environment. The success of our tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and squash plants are a testament to the usefulness of the greenhouse space.
Tables and Figures:
Seed Savers’ Exchange Order List 2010
Planting Map with Bed Dimensions
The Garden in Summer
Between June and September, Nick Vogt, Eric Burger and Camille Robertson co-managed the garden.
Five to ten people on average attended biweekly gardening work days.
Managers watered two hours a day, six days a week.
All the hoses that sprung leaks were fixed.
Weeding and fence repair required a majority of attention.
The garden also saw a number of planting days with the establishment of new transplants.
Radishes and carrots moved to the raised beds.
Melons in the ‘Perrenials Plot.’
Garlic in the ‘Large Plot.’
Squash, pumpkins and beans in the small ‘Learning for Life Plot.’
The summer months also see the most plant productivity and the students doing research at the College were the primary beneficiaries of most harvests.
Raspberries and strawberries ripened.
Garlic finished maturing and was dried.
Lettuce produced constantly.
The Garden in Fall
During the autumn months the garden was co-managed by Ben Dair and Marjorie Herbert. As the growing season wanes in productivity, the Fall is a time to celebrate summer yields and organize the community to appreciate local food and local harvest.
Tools were relocated from the President’s Garage to 404 Elm.
Garden managers watered for an hour each day.
We raised $120 from selling saved seeds at the Swarthmore Local Food Fair in October and donated the funds to the Chester Community Garden Project. This money was subsequently used to rent a turf cutter to expand the beds located in a community owned by the Chester Housing Authority.
In a large October garden party, we entertained over thirty people with roasted squash and okra, fresh tomatoes and cabbage salad, and a packout from Sharples Dining Hall. The Cooper Event featured speakers the Yes Men were in attendance.
We also organized a series of community cooking dinners where we enjoyed basil pesto, squash, arugula, kale, turnip greens and okra.
Other Projects and Notable Events
Over 50 people attended our first weekly kick-off meeting. Since then, the core group of meeting attendees that we can count on to volunteer at all events remains stable at about 15 people.
The Window Farms hydroponics project in the Science Center Commons continues to draw interest and was the subject of a Learning for Life workshop led by E. Carr Everbach.
Composting in Essie Mae’s doubled following a change in bin location and signage. A collaboration with the student group Green Advisors has also increased composting service coverage by placing buckets in the dormitories.
Notable Events Include:
Kallari – Sustainable Cocoa Plantation Presentation / Chocolate Tasting
Cooper Event: Greening the Rust Belt: Urban Agriculture and Food Security in Detroit and Philadelphia (Oct. 28)
Compost Facility Tour (Nov. 12)
Meat Day (Nov. 16th)
Sharples Dining Hall Local Foods night
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