First Friday Video – November – WCU Campus Gardens

Hi Chris. Welcome back to the South
Campus garden. It is nice to be back. So what’s going to happen with all these
peppers and broccoli? Well you know one of our core missions at the South Campus
garden is to expand access to healthy fresh produce and our preferred donor
site is right here on campus at the resource pantry. This year so far we have
over 850 pounds of produce which is a little more than the pantry can take at
some times so we also like to support community pantries like the West Chester
food cupboard. When I first went to the food pantry,
it was cans and boxes. There’s fresh produce available in the food pantry for
our students? Absolutely! Right, so in addition to having access to food, we
want to make sure that that food is healthy, nutritious, produce. So while we
don’t produce a lot of it sometimes, we produce at least a little bit of produce
12 months out of the year here at the South Campus garden. Joan, all summer long
I saw you out there in the backyard of Tanglewood weeding and harvesting the
produce. We’re so glad that we were able to dedicate a piece of ground back there
in the lawn to become a productive garden for the campus. Yeah we’re very
happy to have that garden and the produce goes to not only the resource
pantry but if they have well stocked shelves then we take it to the Veterans
Center and sometimes it goes to the community at large. It’s a little known
fact that the first resident of Tanglewood, when the University acquired
the property was an agriculture professor who was growing produce back
in the garden that was being used in the dining hall to feed the students of the
state college. It’s great that we continue to support the students on
campus with that fresh food. And we also have a garden on North Campus. What’s the
purpose of that? So the garden on North Campus was started as a demonstration
garden to show people how to grow food organically. Seed is just a
teeny tiny little thing and you put it in the ground and it’s magic when it
comes up but you know it takes a lot of care to bring forth the produce that we
have so it’s there for students staff and faculty to learn how to grow and
that food is shared with the entire campus whoever wants to come learn how
to harvest it and do something with it. Well thank you for all of your work and
the whole sustainability initiative on campus and leading the effort to have
these wonderful gardens. Well we’re very very fortunate to have a President’s
Office that supports all of our gardens and so many of our initiatives, so thank
you. Garden volunteers are getting ready to construct cold frames to extend the
growing season for crops like spinach and kale but the University gardens
can’t provide the same quantity of produce to the resource pantry in winter
as they are able to do the rest of the year. That’s where you come in. Please
join me in supporting the resource pantry during our Thanksgiving food
drive. Let’s ensure that there are plenty of fruits and vegetables available for
our students who use this pantry. The President’s Office is sponsoring a
Thanksgiving donation drive which will run throughout the month of November. There will be collection bins located throughout campus and all students
faculty and staff are encouraged to bring items. We can also accept fresh
fruit and produce at the pantry Monday through Friday 9:00am to 4:00pm and as
always we’re thrilled for any donations that you can provide but we especially
appreciate healthy food items such as fruits and vegetables or items that are
low in sugar or preservatives and that are packed in water rather than fruit
syrup. Thank you so much for your support!

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