One of the ultimate summer activities is tending to a garden, and since 2009, RIT students, faculty, staff, retirees and alumni have happily and quietly maintained the beautiful RIT Community Garden every summer. I recently spoke to the garden’s coordinator, Dr. Dawn Carter, Senior Lecturer, Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences, College of Science, to see how the garden is doing this year.
Around 30-40 students, faculty, and staff are currently involved in the RIT Community Garden. Dr. Carter adds this year’s count is “more than we usually have.” Each plot in the garden typically is assigned to a group of 1-5 people.
Raised beds are the newest evolution of the Community Garden. Students and faculty came together and built the beds from lumber and filled them with compost. The lumber was bought from Home Depot and funded by donations from the RIT Better Me wellness program as well as a grant from Student Affairs. Dr. Carter says they plan to expand the raised beds into more of the plots the garden offers.
This year, there is a wide variety of plants, vegetables and fruit growing in the garden. If you look closely, you’ll see squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, garlic, peppers, flowers, cabbage, strawberries, and much more.
While people with plots in the garden typically take their produce home, some of it ends up in other destinations. Recover Rochester has their own plot in the garden so that makes donating produce simple for members of the RIT Community Garden. One staff member even grows flowers in the garden and makes bouquets for friends or family.
If you would like to get involved in the Community Garden, Dr. Carter encourages you to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. The RIT Community Garden members also communicate via a closed Facebook group if you’d prefer to contact them that way.