Urban Gardens Hit Marquette

By Andrew Seifert, Office of Administration

For this year’s Hunger Clean-Up event, volunteers from around the university built 12 raised-bed gardens in O’Donnell Field.  The gardens were a collaboration between Campus Kitchens, Professor Josh Knox, Students for an Environmentally Active Campus (SEAC), Facilities Services, and the Office of Sustainability.  The beds were divvied up between the groups.  Campus Kitchens will use their beds to grow food to incorporate into meals they serve.  Professor Josh Knox’s Physician Assistant students will tie their beds into their summer curriculum. SEAC gets to use their beds for growing their own food, and to see how a garden program might work for students during the summer months.  The current setup should give an idea of how gardens could work on campus, and if successful, possibly expand the program in the future.  Next steps could include adding a small composting area for discards and growing their own soil.

Marquette is not the only institution in the area that has gardens.  Aurora Sinai has also been growing food on their campus.  Their current setup includes 2 large raised-beds in the west parking lot.  Several departments within Aurora Sinai are growing food and even bringing patients into the mix by letting them help in the gardening process.  It was suggested that gardening can be both therapeutic and educational for patients.

Aurora Sinai also hosts a farmers’ market with Growing Power on Wednesdays from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  The market is held in the cafeteria or parking lot depending on the weather.  In addition to the farmers’ market, Outpost Natural Foods has setup a small Market Café in the 12th Street entrance, providing food for Aurora employees, patients, and the surrounding community.  The outlet offers a variety of healthy snacks and premade foods.  The Market Café is open from 6:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday.

Marquette plans to host another Fresh Fall Farmers’ Market series in the fall once the majority of students are back on campus.  Dates and times for the Fresh Fall Farmers’ Markets will be sent out early in the fall semester.

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