Eckerd College Community Garden
The Eckerd College Community Garden started in January of 2010 when a group of students submitted a proposal for a sustainable vegetable garden on campus. After a generous gift, and support from Eckerd's dining services, Bon Appetit, planning began. Students, working closely with members of the faculty and administration purchased the necessary materials and began construction in early February in an open field between the soccer field, and baseball field. Currently Eckerd has fifteen raised beds which are used for growing a variety of vegetables, and other edible plants. The garden is maintained by a dedicated group of students, and a gardener employed by Bon Appetit. We are nearing the end of our first growing season, and are currently enjoying fresh spinach, peas, green beans, and collards. We are also currently growing tomatoes, squash, corn, potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and pineapples.
Future plans for the community garden include adding an additional five beds to the current fifteen to facilitate the growing interest shown by the student body. Our hope is that the garden will develop into a multifaceted space that will be utilized by students and faculty alike. Florida's extended growing season makes it possible for students to grow and harvest edible plants throughout the year. Faculty are also looking into ways that they can incorporate the community garden as an outdoor classroom where students are able to learn the different methods of vegetable cultivation. Through our partnership with Bon Appetit, the community garden hopes to supply fresh, locally grown produce to the cafeteria throughout the year.