"Groundbreaking News": The Brandeis Patchwork Garden Begins

Oct. 13, 2009

A Bit of an Introduction

The time is ripe to reap the bounty of the environmental enthusiasm on campus. A great part of the student body is excited about local, fresh, nutritious food, learning about the environment, and improving sustainability. What’s not to love about a garden?

This fall, several students, spearheaded by Laura Goldin’s “Greening the Ivory Tower Class” are dedicated to creating a vegetable garden on campus, to be called the Patchwork Garden. This garden will teach students about how food is grown, raise awareness about food sustainability and increase interaction across many different communities both within and outside of the Brandeis campus. The addition during Summer Semester 2010, of more students in summer environmental programs, ensures ongoing project sustainability and a dedicated volunteer team during the summer farming period.

What’s been going on so far?

This semester, students received permission to build a garden behind Massell Quad, across the road from the chapels. Spurred into action by their enthusiasm and the cold weather, they have planned raised beds and cold frames (miniature greenhouses so  they can grow lettuce and hardy greens in the winter) to build. The students have been gathering resources and materials, as well as planning events and the layout.

Community Interaction

No garden stands alone and the Patchwork Garden Team  is no exception. The students will work with many faculty members in several different disciplines, including Biology, the Heller School, American Studies, and Environmental Studies. Within the student body, we are working with interested individuals, and with many clubs and committees such as Dining Services Committee, Students for Environmental Action, and NaturaLiving Club.

Outside of  Brandeis, The Patchwork Garden Team w are working with local gardeners and farmers, such as those who work with Healthy Waltham, Waltham Community Fields, Natick Community Farms, the Boston Food Project, alums working on Drumlin Farm and at the Farm School, Land’s Sake in Weston and vegetable gardens in Waltham elementary schools.

Upcoming Events

The Groundbreaking Event will take place  on Sunday, October 18. Come by the garden to give a hand building raised beds, cold frames, fences; planting young raspberry bushes; mulching and preparing the soil for next spring. There will also be hot cocoa and t-shirts for sale.

How Can I Get Involved?

 There are many ways to get involved with the Patchwork Garden and they more hands the better.

Patchwork Garden Slideshow

Planning the Location:

Patchwork Garden Planning