Features

Club Profile: Ag Co-Op

Todd Troester
Contributor

It’s easy to get sucked up into the endless hours of classes and homework. Everyone needs summertime to recharge their batteries with some relaxing fun, and this summer, Goucher’s Agriculture Cooperative, more commonly called the Ag Co-Op, found a great way to do just that. The

Billy Daly with members of the Ag Co-op harvesting hydroponic lettuce (Photo: Todd Troester)

Billy Daly with members of the Ag Co-op harvesting hydroponic lettuce (Photo: Todd Troester)

club renovated the space behind Welsh Hall to create a community garden that will help move the college towards greater food sustainability. The best part is that all students, faculty, and staff are welcome to work in the garden to recharge their own batteries with some good old-fashioned dirty work such as weeding, watering, and harvesting.
Community relaxation isn’t the only rationale behind the garden renovation,.The Ag Co-Op firmly believes that food opens a gateway to local community, fosters an understanding of global culture, and forges a connection between the two. Recognizing the power of this relationship, the Ag Co-Op strives to unite the faculty, staff, and student body in support of a more environmentally conscious food culture.  By bringing the members of the Goucher community closer to one another and to the food they share, Ag Co-Op hopes to create an atmosphere of inclusion, equality, and sustainability for the future in the garden and over the dinner table.
The renovations didn’t happen overnight. They started off like most projects do — a vision. Several Ag Co-Op members developed the idea for a summer program called the Goucher Renewable Agriculture Initiative, or GRAIN, which would allow three or four students to stay on campus over the summer to maintain the garden and the greenhouse while completing the renovations of the garden. As a result of these efforts, Ag Co-Op has a firm head start in growing and harvesting food for this upcoming semester. There are at least fifty tomatoes out on the vines and probably twice as many peppers.  The salad dressing at Opening Ceremony was prepared with herbs grown in the newly renovated and expanded garden.  Pumpkins planted in the community section of the garden are anxiously awaiting Harvest Festival. These advancements, along with the reconstructed beds and hydroponic system in the greenhouse, will allow Ag Co-Op to provide a steady supply of herbs  and vegetables to Stimson and Heubeck so that students know that their vegetables come from their campus.
For those that are interested in learning more, the Ag Co-Op meets from 1-5 p.m. on Saturdays to work in the garden; all students, faculty, and staff are welcome to join in on the fun. The Ag Co-Op also enjoys cooking dinners made from the produce grown in the garden and invites everyone to attend. The garden space is designed with community in mind, so go explore the renovated space and take a look at all the plants—but be careful. The Ag Co-Op holds no responsibility for any bee stings that may occur.
If you are interested in learning more about Ag Co-Op or the Goucher Garden, please contact agcoop@mail.goucher.edu.

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