Fresh Produce: The Fruits of the Student Garden Project: Photogallery

View PhotogalleryInitiated by a group of students in 2013, the student garden located to the south of the Bootsma Bookstore Café will be undergoing some expansion work. More raised beds are being built in addition to the original two, and a pond structure will provide the beds with water.

The student group, led by Liz Muhammad ’14 of Palos Heights, Illinois; Ally Otto ’15 of Brandon, Wisconsin; and Sam Bakker ’14 of Chicago, submitted a proposal to the Campus Ecological Stewardship Advisory Group (CESAG) and Palos Heights Committee for approval. The proposal was met with overwhelming support.

“We’re very interested in supporting student initiatives that have to do with environmental and ecological stewardship,” said Dr. Thomas R. Roose, associate professor of physics and science education. “We supported them last year, and are supporting them again this year as they grow the number of beds.”

The goal for the garden is to give Trinity students access to fresh produce at the end of the school year, a challenge due to the natural limitations of the Zone 5 growing season. Most of the plants become ripe and ready to be harvested in the middle of summer, when students are no longer on campus. Adding other plant varieties will help address the challenges.

But students, even during their absence in the summer months, can reap the benefits of participating in the project. Gardeners can become certified to sell produce to Creative Dining, which provides the College’s dining services. The funds from the sales would be re-invested into the project to help it become financially self-sufficient.

More students are encouraged to help with the building and planting process as the garden expands. Several outside sources have stepped up to help students with the garden project, including Ozinga Concrete, which has donated 17 tons of concrete for the expansion.