History of the Campus Organic Garden

 In the Spring of 2007 several students, working with the Environmental Sustainability Office were granted permission to build an organic garden on campus!  The PSGA gave the group a grant of $6,000 to buy the materials necessary for start-up.    On May 2, 2008 over 35 people came out to help build the garden! Using the money granted by the PSGA, as well as local donations, the volunteers, under the careful guidance of Charles Wellcome (Capital Facilities Project Manager and avid gardener) the volunteers built a 50 ft by 50ft enclosure and eight 4ft by 8ft planting beds.

garden construction 1.jpg










The first season:

The first summer, five interns were hired, four of which lived on  campus for the summer months. The garden was fully operational, with everything from basil, to peas, to squash to beets!  Interns were responsible for the day to day operation and care of the plants, as well as for reaching out to the campus community about the benefits of eating locally grown organic foods. The veggies were given to the interns and staff who worked hard all summer, and some were sold on campus at the farmers market when the students returned in the fall. 

            In the fall semester of 2008, we hired a campus garden coordinator to keep things going throughout the year and our first coordinator, Rachel Howson, has done a great job!










            In addition to the Squash, peas, beets, lettuce, tomatoes, peppecompost 1.jpgrs, strawberries and herbs, the campus garden is also the latest effort of the Purchase College students to encourage composting.  Students and staff can leave their compost in the blue bin outside the garden entrance, and the interns will add it to the compost heap (pictured below). The compost will then be used on the garden, to fertilize our organic veggies for the next year! (For more information on composting, please see our composting guide).


We are looking forward to expanding all of these great programs at the Campus Organic Garden in our second year!  Please contact Rachel.Howson@purchase.edu or Lindsay.randall@purchase.edu if you would like to get involved!