organic gardening Essay

Submitted By Rose-Matilde
Words: 658
Pages: 3

Rose M. Platel
LC Assignment 2
Organic Garden Field Trip

The main mission of St. John’s organic garden is to increase campus composting and recycling efforts (and ultimately reduce carbon emissions released in the atmosphere) and organic gardening awareness as well as support a University-run soup kitchen. St. John’s is even a partner in the US EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge and the Greater Greener New York program. It was established in 2009 in collaboration between The Earth Club and the Office of Sustainability. The garden is worked on and maintained by members of The Earth Club, student sustainability coordinators, and staff of The Office of Sustainability. But students, faculty, and staff are also welcome to work in the garden for ASL credit, service hours or just to gain organic farming and gardening experience. Some beds in the garden are raised because they have fresh compost that have yet to be mixed in with the soil. Tomatoes, herbs, cucumbers, peppers, lettuce, spinach, carrots, strawberries, and radishes are among the different vegetables and fruits that are commonly grown in the organic garden. They are fertilized with organic compost or geotea. After harvest, the vegetables will be donated to St John’s Bread and Life soup kitchen in Brooklyn. The organic garden is also in talks with the university officials about the possibility of planting more crops that can be included as an option in campus dining. Organic composting is the natural process of recycling organic materials. The organic materials are decomposed into a dark, rich nutrient soil called compost. Compost is the backbone of organic gardening because it provides natural ingredients for the soil instead of using alternatives like chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Composting here at the Organic Garden is done by the use of a large-scale aerated O2 food composting system. Earth Club students collect discarded food wastes from the various campus dining areas and also coffee grinds from Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and The Law School Café. This is extremely noteworthy because all of the wastes would have otherwise been shipped to a landfill. Students also collect wood chips which were from all the damaged trees and wood left over from Sandy. The main materials from fruit skins, wood chips, etc. are located in a pile by the garden. In order to make compost, three components are needed. A source of nitrogen (coffee grinds), a source of carbon (leaves), and vegetable or fruit waste. The compost is made in a bin-the University’s Rocket Composter- where materials and water are added. This is…