Location: Bowdoin / Sustainability / Activity / 2011 / Onions

Students 'Dig In' - Help Start New Growing Season

Story posted March 01, 2011

On the morning of Saturday February 26th, twenty students made their way to the Druckenmiller Hall greenhouse. In a corner of the building devoted to biology and chemistry classrooms and labs, the greenhouse is home to plants used for plant physiology classes as well as seedlings for the Bowdoin Organic Garden (BOG) during the colder winter months. On this particular morning students were arriving to take part in a field trip sponsored by the Eco-Reps that began at the greenhouse and would later take students downtown to Brunswick’s winter farmers market.

Katherine Creswell, the manager for the BOG, and Patrick Martin, an Eco-Rep and a student employee at the greenhouse, greeted students, suggesting that they might want to shed layers before heading into the summer-like temperatures. Once everyone had filed in, Creswell gave instructions for the activity of the day- planting onions. Students took turns sifting soil and filling trays. They then got to place the five varieties of tiny seeds into rows along the trays. After a final coating of soil they left the greenhouse and prepared to head back outside. The experience was well received. “There’s nothing like getting your hands in the dirt and seeing where you food really comes from,” said Shannon Grimes ’14. The plants will make their way into the ground sometime in June after most students have left campus and will be harvested in July or August. When students return to campus in the late summer they may encounter some of the fruits of their labor in their salads or sandwiches.  

It was sunny and fairly warm for late February as most of the students walked through town to Fort Andross, the historic mill where the winter farmers market is held. As they entered the market they encountered lively music provided by local musicians and families browsing the farm stands - all creating a friendly atmosphere in the large sunny space filled by three rows of vendors. Vegetables, seafood, dairy products, woodwork, jewelry and baked goods were among the many items for sale. Students perused the food and crafts for a while and then gathered in the back to enjoy a few purchases. Favorites included the berry pie, feta, apple butter, hummus, and freshly baked bread. With their stomachs full of delicious local food, the students headed back to campus. The EcoReps were really pleased with the participation in this event and are looking forward to getting even more students involved with the BOG this spring.

“There’s nothing like getting your hands in the dirt and seeing where you food really comes from,” - Shannon Grimes ’14.