Welch and student volunteers working in the garden
Background: In late August of 2008 a group of Saint Mary’s students, faculty, staff and supporters joined together to transform the choppy half-acre lot located behind South Claeys Hall into what is now known as the Legacy Garden. From its inception, this student run garden has been praised by the Saint Mary’s community for the communal efforts that brought it into being and most importantly, for bringing a sustainable food cycle on campus. It is now the spring of 2010. The Legacy Garden has been a part of the St. Mary’s campus for a year and a half. As a part of the Communication and Social Justice class, we were interested in following the harvest through the sustainable cycle.
After following the harvest, we found that overall, the food cycle is successful. However, there are areas that can be improved. One of the issues has to do with the consumption of the harvest once it has reached the dining halls. Some student diners are turned away by the "backyard quality" of the food. That is, vegetables may be a bit brown or holey. However, it may be that the students don't eat it because they are not aware of its origins. Perhaps if students knew the produce came from St. Mary's it would be more appealing. One thing that I learned was that not everything offered in the "Legacy Garden" salad bar comes from the Legacy Garden. The spring doesn't yield enough harvest to provide for a full salad bar so it is often supplemented from other sources.
(The lettuce is the only thing that hails from the garden in this picture)