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JSC community garden gets revitalized

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JSC community garden gets revitalized

Volunteers get ready to work on revitalizing the community garden.

Volunteers get ready to work on revitalizing the community garden.

Russ Weiss

Volunteers get ready to work on revitalizing the community garden.

Russ Weiss

Russ Weiss

Volunteers get ready to work on revitalizing the community garden.

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The JSC community garden, which has been located behind the college apartments for seven years, is being resurrected after a 3-year hiatus.

The initial idea for resurrection cropped up a few years ago when Elizabeth Wiren was still the green solutions president for Johnson State. Wiren has since passed away, and according to the current Green Solutions President Russell Weis, there is a tree dedicated to her inside the garden which was donated by a couple of generous JSC staff members.

“Others on staff, especially Carolyn D’Luz and Joye Lyon, also deserve much credit for the current incarnation of the garden, as well as a number of other faculty, staff, and students,” he said in an email interview.

The garden has come and gone over the years depending on student interest. The previous garden was run by former SGA president Ben Chaucer who expressed interest, because he lived in the college apartments.

Chaucer is responsible for the compost bin that is located next to the garden.

Right now, there is what Weis calls a “resurgence of interest,” and through grants he was able to hire Johnson State junior Sammie Gorton as the garden coordinator.

Gorton has been involved in other garden projects including working as garden manager at the Hub and teen center in her hometown of Bristol, Vt. She really wants this garden to have an impact on the community as a whole, and will even visit local high schools to help facilitate planning of their gardens.

“All summer I was looking forward to having my own garden, which didn’t work out,” she says. “Carolyn D’Luz thought that if I were to get involved in this garden I could go along with my original plan to have a garden project to help feed local community members.”

At this time, as part of her internship, Gorton is working on weeding, tearing down old trellises and fences, and settling the garden for the winter so that it’s ready to be tilled and planted next semester.

The goal is to eventually join with Sodexo to serve Johnson-grown produce to the college community. In pairing with Sodexo, Gorton and Weis have also expressed interest in establishing community compost where students can discard their scraps.

The garden project could do more than promote sustainable agriculture and help feed the college, Weis notes: “Another worthy goal would be to have some percentage of the produce donated to local food shelves, an idea that arose a couple of years ago and also happens to be something that Samantha is very passionate about.”

While the garden is currently in a state of disrepair, Gorton says you can never give up on it. It’ll be a lot of work to bring it back, and if anyone wants to join in the weeding efforts they can contact her at Samantha.Gorton@jsc.edu.

 

 

 

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Kayla Friedrich, Editor in Chief

Kayla served as a general assignment reporter and photographer for the spring 2013 semester.  She returned for the Fall 2013 and spring 2014 semesters...

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JSC community garden gets revitalized