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By Eric Sean Weld   Date: 6/10/09 Bookmark and Share

Now Available: Fresh Produce from the Smith Community Garden

Smith Community Garden volunteers pedal their wares.

After spending months tending seedlings, nurturing their plants’ growth and overseeing their maturation to consumable readiness, volunteers at the Smith College Community Garden are sharing the fruits—uh, vegetables—of their labors.

Every Thursday throughout the summer, from noon to 1:30 p.m. outside the Campus Center on Chapin Lawn, Community Garden representatives will sell their vegetables, herbs and flowers raised at the facility.

The Smith Community Garden, located near the Center for Early Childhood Education on Lyman Road, is a student initiative begun two years ago as a resource to provide practical experience in organic vegetable gardening and environmentally responsible food cultivation. Meanwhile, the garden provides an ongoing supply of food.

“Food is the most essential component in our lives,” avers Elisabeth Wolfe ’10, manager of the Smith Community Garden and an organizer of the garden’s Thursday farm stand. “What could be more important in terms of environmental sustainability than knowing how to produce your own food in an environmentally friendly way?”

Garden crops soon to be available at the garden farm stand.

The farm stand will feature a range of edibles, says Wolfe, depending on the weeks’ harvests during the summer. Current crops include a variety of greens, such as arugula, buttercrunch bib and red oak leaf lettuce, radishes, kale and collards. Also available are seedlings for lettuce, Swiss chard, oregano, thyme, rosemary and other herbs.

“We have garlic, tomatoes and sweet and hot peppers in the ground,” notes Wolfe, “and a lot of beautiful flowers that we will be selling as well.”

The entire proceeds from the farm stand sales support garden endeavors and planting more produce, says Wolfe. Current projects include a rainwater collection device, a drip irrigation system and composting bins.

The Community Garden, which was chartered as a student organization in April, keeps about 30 volunteers busy.

For Wolfe, participating in the Smith Community Garden fits well with her interests in environmental sustainability. She also manages the Bike Kitchen, a student-run bicycle-rental facility. Wolfe has designed her own major in environmental biology and sustainable development, and hopes to provide people with the skills and knowledge to carry sustainability theories forward and incorporate them in their lives.

“This is very close to my heart,” she says of the garden. “I would love to see gardens of the near future be at least as vital in local food production as Victory gardens were during World War II. I would love to see children, teenagers and adults knowing how to plant a seed. And knowing how powerful food production is.”

Wolfe invites people in the Smith community to check out the garden farm stand every Thursday, and experience the quality of the products.

“Produce tastes much better when it’s been produced by people who are really passionate about growing food,” she says. 


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