Food Production at the Envi Center

Justine – a summer garden intern – helps other students harvest beets

Thirty-five percent of the Class of 1966 Environmental Center’s site is devoted to food production. On site, we practice sustainable agriculture to grow annual and perennial vegetables, high and low-bush berries, herbs, and fruit trees. Our pollinator garden attracts beneficial insects to the site.

Seeds and starts are purchased from local nurseries, which helps to insure that they are regionally climate appropriate. High-bush and low-bush berries were purchased from Vermont and Maine based nurseries that focus on regional varietals.

To try to minimize the use of harvested and treated water for our outdoor plants, a solar-powered irrigation pump was installed to draw water from the biggest of our on-site ponds.

Olivia and Justin work to identify plants in the pollinator garden

The harvesting of on-site produce is done largely by student gardeners and people passing by the site. In the summers student gardeners regularly put out calls asking people to come and participate in the harvesting. During the fall, the Sustainable Growers, the student gardening group, organizes a meal from the harvest that Dining Services prepares. Additionally, campus dining comes at the end of the season to collect the remaining herbs to dry to be used in the dining halls. Longer-term, we look to contribute to the main dining services with fruit out of the orchard once the trees are substantially producing. We recognize that over the years, our plan will most likely change based on the individuals and groups who join this community-facilitated planning team as well as the changing needs of the college and surrounding communities.

 

Furry friends – such as these woodchucks – also appreciate the gardens