Engaging Students in Organic Gardening


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Engaging Students in Organic Gardening
For more information, Please see websites below:
Organic Edible Schoolyards & Gardening with Children
Double Food Production from your School Garden with Organic Tech
Free School Gardening Art Posters
Companion Planting Increases Food Production from School Gardens
Healthy Foods Dramatically Improves Student Academic Success
City Chickens for your Organic School Garden
Simple Square Foot Gardening for Schools - Teacher Guide

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Engaging Students in Organic Gardening

  1. 1. Engaging students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Student Organic Garden Laura Williams, Geography and Environmental Resources
  2. 2. The Beginnings  Eco Dawgs- Student wanted to create a garden that grew food for the school  Geog 429- Demonstrate the viability and benefits of growing food organically in Southern Illinois  Leah May, Jon Dyer - contacted different departments to see where the garden could be located: Vermicomposting Center  Garden needed to be functional and fulfill a certain purpose  Geog 488- proposal drawn up for the garden  Christensen Award for Student Research in Sustainability, $500, Garden Won, LOGIC is an RSO
  3. 3. More Production  First students saw need for more production to come from the garden  Proposal put into the Green Fund for a high tunnel to be constructed and a graduate assistant position  Green Fund/ Sustainability Council: Eco Dawgs - $10/ semester  Basic tenants of proposals: contribute to sustainability at SIU, be highly student designed and led, incorporate education, outreach, and/ or research  Other students moved on
  4. 4. Original Goals  Educate – Students, University, Community  Produce – Food for the Dining Hall  Organic – Learned the benefits in Geog 429, Dr. Leslie Duram, Geography of Local and Organic Food  Sustainable - Closed loop system  Community – Incorporate and network with the Local Farmers in the area  Connection – With SIU students and other departments on campus, other community schools and community residents
  5. 5. Important relationships  Housing: Chef Bill Connors  Geography Department: Dr. Leslie Duram, Dr. Matthew Therrell  Green Fund  Dining Halls: Making connections, talking, discussing how we deliver, what they like, need, use, etc.  Agriculture Department: Dr. Alan Walters, April Vigardt  Student body
  6. 6. Operations  Housing provided tools and seed to get started  Green Fund provided tools and seed for continuation  Garden manager, funded by Green Fund, Graduate Assistant  Interns  Volunteers
  7. 7. Student Involvement  Site for classes: Geography of Local and Organic Food, Sustainable Development, University Sustainability, Elementary and Middle School Curriculum, Sustainable Vegetable Production  Internships through Geography Department, Sustainability Council  Student workers from Geography, Plant and Soil Science, and Forestry  Local tour site for area middle and high schools
  8. 8. Successes & Obstacles  Student interest grew quickly  Environmental Ambassador Award: Incentive for Student Participation  First workshop, Record Keeping  Seasons of Dining Halls coordinated with seasons of garden: Need better understanding  Summer: Need a full time paid worker  Coordinate with RSO: Graduate Assistant & RSO officers
  9. 9. Needs for the Future  Incorporate garden manager as a permanent position, money for a few student workers, this money possibly coming from Housing and/ or Green Fund  Continue working with the Agriculture Department  Network with SIU students: Raise awareness on campus  Connect with local community/ local farmers  Build alumni networks  Draw a deeper connection between people and their food source  Network with other universities
  10. 10. Future Goals & Aspirations  Continue organizing, collaborating, and informing  More production and more student involvment  Permaculture Site is developed and grows: demonstrate new, innovative ways to grow food  Vermicenter and gardens: Sustainability Demonstration Site  SIU – understand the potential, administration takes notice  Workshops, conferences, research  Financial sustainability
  11. 11. My research  Case study  Surveyed students  Interview stakeholders  Put together ideas of students and stakeholders to design a possible future plan for the long term structure of the garden- present this to administration
  12. 12. Thank you, Questions?  www.sustainability.siuc.edu/food