New resident garden comes to Segundo

Resident students can now enjoy a new garden located between the Segundo Dining Commons and Bixby Hall.

Resident students can now enjoy a new garden located between the Segundo Dining Commons and Bixby Hall.

Created in Fall 2010, the student initiated garden aims to provide leadership opportunities while educating the community on care for edible plants and hands-on experience, officials said.

“The goal is to provide students with a space for hands on experience and to get their hands dirty on how to maintain plants, especially after graduation,” said Danielle Lee, sustainability manager for the UC Davis Dining Services. “Students will learn about seasonal harvesting and time and effort for better understanding of where their food comes from.”

Students of the Segundo resident halls wanted a place to grow their own food in their residential environment, Lee said. The garden is designed specifically for students in the participating resident halls. However, students that are not residents of Segundo are free to venture into the garden.

“The project introduces sustainability to the larger freshmen population,” said Tessa Artale, junior sociology major and unit director for the UC Davis Campus Center for the Environment. “Many freshmen come to Davis without knowledge of sustainability or how to practice it in their daily lives.”

Design and building for the resident garden took place during the 2010-11 academic year by students William Klein, Tessa Artale, Andrew Carstans and Molly Bernstein. Departments such as the Campus Center for the Environment, Student Housing and Dining Services among many other groups participated in the development and management of the garden.

Dining Services provides funding for supplies, materials, plants and maintenance, Lee said. Initial funds for the garden came from Student Housing.

Participating residents of the class of 2014 chose and planted all the plants as a group, Lee said.

Some varieties of plants grown in the garden are red amaranth, which is a grain that contains edible leaves, Kentucky wonder beans and spirit pumpkins, which will be big for the fall season. The plants are being grown organically, but they are not certified.

According to officials, although students are growing the plants, they are not permitted to sell them. All fruits and vegetables are only available for student consumption. The edible plants will not be used in the dining commons.

“The garden provides an experiential learning opportunity for self-sufficiency,” Lee said. “Students are able to learn another way to connect with how and where their food comes from.”

Students and the community participated in the Segundo garden’s inaugural planting celebration on June 7.

Management of the garden hopes to have future bi-weekly and monthly garden parties, Lee said.

Students can get involved with the garden team by attending a brief garden orientation to obtain a “Gardener Card.”

For more information, contact the garden coordinator at garden.coordinators@gmail.com.

ALICIA KINDRED can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.