Initial Summer Rooftop Garden Harvesting & Involvement

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Volunteers Maria Cancilla (SUST student), Chris McDonald (Political Science student), and Bethany Barratt (Professor of Political Science at RU) during an outdoor workday.

The outdoor rooftop garden, located on the 5th floor of Roosevelt University’s Wabash building, is ready for volunteer involvement, tours, class involvement, and more! With the help of six different volunteers thus far this summer, the garden is looking fantastic, and will continue to produce food for the Wabash dining center. So far, we have harvested 3.6 pounds of collard greens, 1.2 pounds of spinach, and .7 pounds of peppery arugula, dill, cilantro, and more spinach combined. The swiss chard and lettuce will be ready for harvest soon, too.

Importantly, however, more involvement is needed. We have been focusing on planting from seed, transplanting, thinning existing plots, pulling weeds, attempting to eradicate a slug problem, harvesting, and watering when necessary. But we need extra help on those work days to lighten the load of current volunteers.

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First harvest of the 2015 summer- 3.6 pounds of collard greens for the Wabash dining center.

Major involvement with the garden began back in November when meetings started in order to bring all those interested together for the planning process. From there, we took our ideas, began planting indoors in February, and then transplanted our seedlings outdoors. There are big ideas and goals for this garden as the third year of the garden matures, but involvement is key—not only that, but there are so many ways to get involved! We have had several focus groups for the garden including, but not limited to, the following: plant profiling, research on beneficial plants, indoor planting, outdoor planting, outreach, signage, vermiculture, seed saving, etc. Additionally, many classes have taken tours of the garden during various seasons, and some garden implementation in classes has also taken place.

So don’t be shy—join us for one of our workdays next week on Tuesday, July 7th, 12pm-3pm and Wednesday, July 8th, 12:30pm-3pm on the 5th floor of Wabash through the workout center. Workdays are open to all! Feel free to bring your lunch, bring a friend, or even just stop by to check things out if you are interested.

If you have any interest with getting involved with the garden in any way, please contact Rebecca at rquesnell@roosevelt.edu.

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