Eastern Shore Food Lab

Campus Garden Innovations

Living with a fast-food, ready-to-eat mentality, Americans have lost the fulfilling interactions with food on its journey from field to plate.

The necessity to reunite the consumer with the consumed is increasingly important as hectic lifestyles proliferate. To revolutionize our view of food, the Eastern Shore Food Lab aims to reveal the simplicity of home and community gardening using the Campus Garden at Washington College as a model to demonstrate the extent to which these practices can be taken.

Vision

A bonafide food forest will take root in the soils of the garden previously amended by biodiverse compost. Prominent signage will educate passersby about the plants, the gardening methods, and the permaculture principles at play. Monthly workshops will teach community members about gardening practices that can be adopted on an individual scale. Pocket gardens will emerge and create a campus better integrated with the food it is eating. Fragmented ecosystems will be rejoined by increased edible landscaping and habitat.

Long Term Goals

  • Make the garden a more centralized part of college campus
  • Spread gardening throughout campus in pop-up and pocket gardens
  • Transform the way that we think about the possession of food by creating accessible, public food sources
  • Dispel misconceptions about home-gardening, home-cooking, and composting
  • Give consumers the power to dictate what they will grow and subsequently eat; foster food independence
  • Contribute some of what is grown to Dining Services
  • Expand the potentials of the garden through experimenting at the River and Field Campus

First Steps

  • Evaluate what students, faculty, and staff want to see in the campus garden
  • Make a usable batch of aerated static pile compost to amend garden soils and build biodiversity
  • Augment the intake of the community compost bins
  • Improve aesthetics and accessibility of garden
  • Create signs and structured flow around the garden to better educate students, etc. about the benefits and uses of the plants and gardening methods