UMass Amherst held its first Student Garden Tour on September 28, 2013 under brilliant skies. Five unique gardens right on campus were hosted by the students who manage them. One of our main goals was to make students aware of myriad opportunities for growing food without leaving campus. From picking pumpkins, drinking herb-infused teas and watching the creation of a wattle fence to learning how to grow food in challenging places, pressing fresh apple cider and learning about permaculture, substantial learning took place on campus all day.
A round of applause goes to our hard-working UMass students for devoting their time and for sharing their work in agriculture with peers as well as the wider community. Attendees were inspired to offer hands-on help in some of the gardens. Others expressed their appreciation for the education about how to grow food in stones and various containers with a nutrient solution, among other specific growing conditions.
Thanks to our dynamic students: Cassie Sefton at the Agricultural Learning Center; Cole Lanier and Neev Blume at the Student Farming Enterprise; Lilly Israel at the Franklin Permaculture Garden; Jake Harness and Chloe Rombach at GardenShare; and Jennie Bergeron, Head Gardener at the Renaissance Garden all of whom are to be commended for their extraordinary leadership during this event. They taught their visitors that, “Growing food is not just for Ag majors anymore!”
If you want to grow food on campus, please contact John Gerber, Professor, Stockbridge School of Agriculture at firstname.lastname@example.org and get matched to the garden that best meets your needs. It may be one hour a week or a full course: one thing is sure, you can dig deep into UMass soil which will grow skills to last a lifetime.