Friday, July 10, 2015

Carr-den: The sweeter side of the student community

As a person that adores gardens, natural settings, local farming, and the like; the Allegheny College Carr-den did not disappoint.Taking a general tour allowed us to see the many different things being harvested from the community garden and discuss the positive aspects local farming provides. It was pointed out by Kirsten that local growing takes away the need for large scale production which often uses pesticides and herbicides. Not only are these things unhealthy to ingest when we consume the food picked, it can also get washed into the surrounding water systems which creates problems for the wildlife that live there. Instead they use other methods of deterring pests and infections from spreading through their crop. It was incredibly interesting for her to describe those other methods like planting flowers that could entice the bugs away from the tomatoes and example, or planting different varieties of produce within the garden box.

Each of the items discussed gave insight to the group about what problems both local and large-scale farmers run into and how their choices impact the environment. Kirsten was very good at delivering the information in a direct manner that gave little room for confusion. After going over the essentials, and teamed with two other students that work in the garden during the summer, we were able to pick carrots and beets that would be sold in that day's market. Without too much hassle, most people understood what they were looking for and went at it. This might have been my favorite part, because it makes me feel very connected to what I eat and gives me perspective as to what should be going into my body. Today's experience felt very close to home, and it was a real treat getting the opportunity to be involved and get dirty.

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