Oberlin’s Resource Conservation Team, Oberlin Garden Resource Outreach Workers, and Slow Food, in a combined effort, have just finished the Johnson House Garden’s recycled wooden framed raised beds and are in the process of installing deer fences to help extend the planting season, reduce weeds, reduce the need to use poor native soil, and protect the garden against deer this upcoming season.
This season the garden will have potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, a variety of winter greens, corn, squash, and melons. This summer’s produce will go to CDS, and the Fall’s will be split between CDS and OSCA.
The garden was begun in the Spring of 2010 when a group of five students grouped together to write a Green Edge Fund proposal, to provide students with hands on experience in their studies of food systems, and encourage teamwork and connections with the broader Oberlin community. The proposal stated the garden as being “a crucial component of the Oberlin College experience” as “students and faculty are concerned with the environmental, health, social and economic implications of the industrialized food system, and have expressed a strong desire for an alternative way to feed themselves.” The proposal stated no tangible outlet for expression of these interests.
Furthermore, the garden gained space in Section IV of the College’s Environmental Policy, stating the “’Oberlin College’s landscape, no less than its classrooms, laboratories, and other teaching facilities, is part of the educational apparatus of the institution.’
In 2011, management of the garden fell under the responsibility of the Resource Conservation Team, a group of students employed by the Department of Facilities. Currently several paid members of the RCT maintain the garden, and work with OGROW and Slow Food Oberlin to organize volunteers.
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