The vacant lot at 123 McIver will soon be a hotbed of activity. Or approximately 18 raised beds, to be precise.
A campus garden, announced by Chancellor Brady in her State of the Campus address, will be under construction within days. Work days begin next week.
The first significant plantings will be in March. Until then, “the soil is working,” says Dr. Susan Andreatta, co-director of UNC Greensboro Gardens with Guy Sanders. The soil, compost and worms will be active this winter, even on days passersby see little new activity.
What you will see in coming months is a place to house the wheelbarrows and benches used for outdoor classroom learning. And work will begin on a fence “to keep ground critters out,” says Andreatta.
It’s an organic garden, with no use of synthetic chemicals. And the weeding and work will be done by those who sign up to be a part of it.
The UNC Greensboro Gardens group, affiliated with the campus Sustainability Committee, envisions mostly edibles, with a few flowering plants to attract beneficial insects. Perhaps sunflowers in corners, Andreatta says.
Interested in being a part of the garden?
Applications can be picked up at the UNC Greensboro Gardens table at today’s Sustainability event at the Traffic Circle. Additionally, the registration form can be accessed at the left side of the Sustainability home page at sustain.uncg.edu and at uncgsustainability.wordpress.com. The application deadline is Nov. 5, allowing faculty who are interested to consider incorporating into their classes next semester.
Priority for the beds will be given to faculty for use with particular classes, which could range from Biology to Religious Studies. Many types of classes and disciplines may be interested.
One class has already been hard at work. An Interior Architecture class led by Dr. Anna Marshall-Baker broke into teams this semester to create designs for the layout of the beds, seating for an education area, a storage area for wheelbarrows, an arbor and the fencing. [Some of their design work can be seen at the bottom of the visual.] Two additional teams are collecting materials (such as reclaimed barn board) and organizing the fabrication and on-site installation of the beds and furnishings, while other students in the class developed a UNC Greensboro Gardens blog and are generating fundraising and publicity for the project.
The City of Greensboro is donating the dirt and compost for the garden. Davey Tree is donating the wood chips for in between the beds.
All on the campus are invited to volunteer for work days at the campus garden. Bring work gloves and, if you have one, a shovel. Work days will be:
Thursday, Oct. 28 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 29 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 30 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Information meetings, in which faculty and staff members can learn about the campus garden, will be:
Thursday, Oct. 21, 12:30-1:45 p.m. in 215 Stone
Thursday, Oct. 21, 5- 6 p.m. in 423 Graham
Applications will be available at these meetings, as well as at the HES Sustainability Event “Small Steps to Big Ideas: Sustainability on Campus” Oct. 29 from 11-30-1:30 in 401 Gatewood Building.
There are a limited number of plots and they will be assigned to faculty first who incorporate the raised beds into their curriculum.
Visual: What 123 McIver looks like now. Inset, a few drawings created by an Interior Architecture class as they worked to design the garden site.
By Mike Harris
Photograph by Mark Unrue