Two Green Thumbs Up For Kent State University at Stark’s New Campus Garden
All you need is a green thumb and a classroom of hardworking students to put together a perfect campus garden.
A new course during the three-week summer intersession, Campus and Community Gardens, provided Kent State University at Stark students with the opportunity to design, plant, water, weed and harvest a campus garden. The course, taught by Chris Post, Ph.D., associate professor of geography, focused on giving students the tools, time, contacts and guidance necessary to set up a network of organizations and individuals who participated in the food’s organic production and distribution. The goal: to empower students to find better solutions to food concerns.
The students planted a wide variety of vegetables and herbs, including tomatoes, kale, eggplant, peppers, radishes, cilantro and rosemary.
Post also used the garden as a teaching tool in the class by educating students about sustainability and the difference between large- and small-scale agriculture.
In addition to serving as an educational tool for students in terms of sustainability, another goal of the campus garden is to serve the surrounding community – including some of their fellow students – as a local food source for those in need.
“The overarching goal is to use the garden as a food incubator to provide fresh vegetables for our Conference Center but also for Flash’s Food Pantry and the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank,” says A. Bathi Kasturiarachi, Ph.D., associate dean for academic affairs at Kent State Stark.
Post’s summer garden class also explored areas of the world where food is produced and areas where there is malnutrition.
The course may be over, but Post hired a student employee this summer to care for the garden. He says students in the class formed a club and also will help. Additionally, this fall, students in classes such as Sociology of Food will be able to help care for the garden.