Sust Blog, Sprout Garden


The Return of the Frost

November 13, 2014  |  Sust Blog, Christine Roundtree '15

The Sprout Garden epitomizes time’s evanescence. As I walked in the garden at the end of summer, I worried about how weeds would eventually overtake the ripe vegetables and fruits. Fortunately, however, the student gardeners that arrived in the fall dispelled my fears that the summer’s work would go to waste.

When I met the other students, I knew our teamwork would make our garden the best it has ever been. We planned out the fall crop sections during our weekly meetings and divided the garden in order to manage each portion. Our planning has helped us to prioritize our tasks and remain organized.

We let the sunflowers and last three basil plants seed in the hopes that birds would peck away the pests and that individuals would enjoy the sunflower seeds and the sight of beautiful Velvet Queen sunflowers in the future. We also have covered our hoop house to allow us to grow greens and roots all winter long. Our effort to cover the hoop house went more smoothly than ever before, with more than 10 student and staff volunteers showing up to help. We owe a special thanks to the four Library staff that came up to help with this effort!

This fall, we had the honor to meet with one of the major donors who has supported the expansion and ongoing success of the Sprout Garden. We gave her a grand tour of the garden. She was impressed with the amount of hard work we had contributed to the garden and wished us luck for the winter season. Sure enough, it has been a terrific semester with the help of such caring and invested student gardeners. 

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Sprout It Up, Harvest It Out: A Snapshot of Sprout Garden in the Summer

October 9, 2014  |  Sust Blog, Christine Roundtree '15

While the summer air made its way through Connecticut, carrots, onions, snow peas, and kale peeked through the dirt. Armed with a handy dandy post hammer, a four-foot ladder, and measuring tape, Emily and I successfully built a stable trellis system to support the growing snow peas in just two days! The addition of a tiller, new ventilation system for the hoop house and an irrigation system made the planting, weeding, and seeding processes efficient and enjoyable, even on hot and humid days.

Thanks to a kind donation from Jim Luce, Supervisor of Grounds at Connecticut College, of about seven different pepper plants, we yielded a spicy crop last summer. The types of peppers ranged from Habanero to Jamaican Hot Chocolate to Devil’s Tongue. Jim also donated eight zucchini squashes, which successfully filled a whole bed. We eliminated the raised beds at the entrance of the garden, making room for about 47 and a half beds full of popcorn corn, tomatoes, summer squash, carrots, snow peas, and kale. We also planted marigolds including African Tururu, African Special and Mexican Aztec Marigolds and three different types of sunflowers: Mammoth Sunflower, Sunshine Sunflower and Velvet Queen Sunflower.

Strategically aligned onions grew beside those beautiful sunflowers, which reached a foot prior to their harvest. Basil, meaning “king” in Greek, filled several beds. With a 184 plants, Basil certainly ruled the garden and produced delicious pesto. We look forward to another great summer season next year. In the meantime, taste the fruits of our fall labor in Harris and get involved harvesting this fall! 

 ‌Christine Roundtree '15 Sprout Garden sale

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Welcome to the Connecticut College Office of Sustainability blog!

July 9, 2014  |  Sust Blog, Josh Stoffel

Hi everyone and welcome to the Connecticut College Office of Sustainability blog!

Established in the fall of 2013, the Office of Sustainability is co-directed by Josh Stoffel and Professor Chad Jones and is charged with actively involving students in sustainability projects both on and off campus. The office defines “sustainability” as balancing the need and value of social equity, environmental stewardship and economic well-being at local and global scales. The primary way students get involved with such efforts is through the Sustainability Fellows Program, which engages students in the research, planning, implementation, and analysis of projects relating to specific areas of sustainability. The College’s student-run Sprout Garden also offers students the opportunity to engage hands-on in gardening and sustainable agriculture. The Office of Sustainability’s mission is to advance the understanding and application of holistic sustainability through curricular integration and operational innovations. By making the College a model of sustainability, the office reinforces the College’s mission to prepare students to act as citizens of a global society.

The Office of Sustainability blog works to provide you with a comprehensive understanding about what the College is doing to advance sustainability on campus and within the local community. The blog will also provide you with a student’s perceptive on how they are involved with sustainability efforts at the College and how they are integrating their experiences with the Office of Sustainability into their academic career.

By following the Office of Sustainability’s blog, you will learn all about:
• Connecticut College’s latest sustainability projects;
• Information about and invitations to a wide range of sustainability events taking place around campus and throughout the local community;
• Personal stories and thoughts written by both current and former Sustainability Fellows, sharing their experience inside and outside the office;
• Our student-run Sprout Garden: how to get involved and what is currently growing;
• Volunteer opportunities that support sustainability efforts both on and off campus;
• Interesting and relevant articles about local and global challenges related to sustainability.

Be sure to also follow us on Twitter (@ccsustainable), Facebook (facebook.com/CCsustainable) and Instagram (ccsustainable)!

We look forward to seeing and working with you on sustainability projects throughout the year!

Josh Stoffel and Dr. Chad Jones
Co-Directors, Office of Sustainability

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Children to Get Groovy in the Garden

October 9, 2014  |  Sust Blog, Rebecca Brill Weitz '18  |  Sust Blog, Soo Cho '17

Did you know that Connecticut College has its own Children’s Program? It is located at Holmes Hall, 75 Nameaug Avenue (right down the road from the River Ridge Apartments). With about 90 students, the Children’s Program is an early childhood preschool program for young children of all backgrounds. The Program’s curriculum is based on the premise that play enables children to interact and learn from their environment. The children have enjoyed and learned from their interactions with the Children’s Program garden.

This year, the Office of Sustainability is collaborating with the Children’s Program to completely renovate the garden! We, Rebecca Brill Weitz and Soo Cho, are the Office of Sustainability fellows working on the many phases of this exciting project.

With the frost approaching, Mother Nature has set us an approaching deadline for getting work in the garden done this fall. We began our project by weeding, a hefty task given the garden’s location on prime sunny real estate. Fortunately, after just two days of weeding, we could see the layout of the garden. We now must decide how much of the current infrastructure to keep. Since the garden lies on a slope, we plan add crushed stone to all pathways in an effort to support rainwater to naturally filter into the ground.

Once we finalize the layout of the garden, we will decide on what to plant and where each plant will be placed. We will first choose the locations of the flower bulbs and garlic. The rest can be decided over a good cup of hot cocoa after the snow comes. After the bulbs are in the ground, we will mulch the garden and then let it sleep under the soft blanket of snow.

Long-term goals include building a curriculum for the students that incorporates the garden into their daily activities, mapping out the garden’s produce, and writing grant proposals. We want this garden to not only look awesome, but to be a place where the children come together to play and to grow. Keep an eye out for more updates about this amazing project!

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