Find Out How Your Garden Grows

by June 29th, 2011


Have you ever wondered how to grow a tomato? Are you looking for new ingredients to add spice to your cooking? Would you be willing to share your gardening secrets? Interested in learning more about sustainable growing practices?

Whether you have a green thumb, or are a gardening novice, EcoCouncil and Art Center invites the Art Center community to grab a trowel, put on your gardening gloves and plant with us. Our new campus garden is intended to be a learning, teaching and recreation space for the College community that allows us to experience what it means to live in harmony with our environment. It is a space for experimentation, investigation and exploration of concepts of lifecycle and sustainability.

The garden is the result of careful planning, partnership with Art Center Student Government and facilities, and the support of the College president and senior staff. This collaboration has resulted in a unique and beautiful garden design incorporating low-impact materials.

Become a “founding grower” and begin your garden! We’ll provide the soil, sunshine and water. Individual students, faculty and staff, or student groups can sign up for a planting bed, which can be used to grow organic food plants or ornamentals. Eat what you grow, or share your harvest. Go to the Garden’s Facebook page for more information and to reserve a plot. Spaces will be assigned for the term in the order received.

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15 Responses to “Find Out How Your Garden Grows”

  1. Brian says:

    Not sure how this contributes to a students focus on a serious design education. :-(

  2. Michelle says:

    I think it’s a nice change of pace. : )

  3. heidrun says:

    but seriously, a design education includes understanding things like growth and change, limits and constraints, utility, functionality, and beauty and pleasure….all concepts that can be learned and experimented with in a garden….

  4. This is awesome !
    This is really the best !

    Hi Brian, as far as Design Education, learning how to grow plants is learning how to design.

  5. Narbeh says:

    well, just a stab at this, but you can’t legitimately consider yourself a leader in the design education without taking into consideration sustainable practices, and how can you claim you teach sustainable practices without a garden or something of the sort that really conveys concepts like permaculture, composting, understanding of environmental conditions and how that effects the amount of resources it takes to grow non-native plants etc. All this is in support of LCA education. Also, reading about this stuff is far removed from the difficulties of practicing. ACCD was ranked 4th last year in sustainable design education when it should be commanding 1st. From a social design standpoint, innovations to help in agriculture and farming is said to be the #1 way to increase income for impoverish communities. (ref. Paul Polack’s Out of Poverty).

  6. Brian says:

    Ecology, and sensitivity about sustainability is wonderful and has it’s place in education just like a whole variety of other teachable principals that will affect your marketable potential post-graduation. The whole full-blown vegetable garden on campus seems like a stretch? We get it. Ecology, sustainability, it’s important to consider. But it’s not the end-all to find work today in this economy. Art Center needs to get back to it’s roots (pun, i know) and prepare students for WORK. Prepare them to deliver creativity solutions in a variety of disciplines on time, on budget, and better than the next guy. I hate to break it to ya, but by-in-large in this economy you will be solving business problems. Solving social, and sustainability issues is incidental to bigger challenges you will have. I graduated 24 years ago and am very successful in what I do. Growing a better tomato is a fun side conversation.

  7. heidrun says:

    Brian…I do appreciate what you are saying but wonder about your statement that “solving social and sustainability issues is incidental to bigger challenges you will have.” I don’t think these issues are incidental to design-they are fundamental to design.

    Fortunately, designers are uniquely equipped to creatively consider these complex, multi-issue challenges, including [as you point out] schedule, budget, etc.

  8. Woodor says:

    I graduated 24 years ago and am very successful in what I do. Growing a better tomato is a fun side conversation.

  9. Jeff says:

    The community garden is but one of MANY other pedagogical and curricular innovations related to teaching sustainability in design that Art Center is smartly developing. Kudos to Heidrun and the student-led EcoCouncil on the garden – for helping us all to be forward looking in terms of what is needed to prepare people to be professionals AND good citizens of the future. It’s amazing. In addition to being a great teaching and learning tool, it also happens to be a terrific less formal ‘outlet’ for creative and social energy for students. Something we need more of at Art Center, not less.

  10. Brian says:

    Heidrun, I promise you that many professionals in the design industry today would agree with me that some (not all) of Art Center undergraduate programs have been compromised in favor of a the schools focus on ‘social issues design’. The graduates end of term open house is always revealing this observation. More and more project solutions that are so esoteric in nature, theoretical and without practical substance to an every day consumer. To me the vegetable garde, in harmony with the environment is an extension of this compromise.

  11. Kaori says:

    LOVE this idea and congratulation on putting this together!
    I was always checking upon on your garden, I remember when you guys had pumpkins last Fall.
    I always sneak up on your garden (not to steal vegies!) and check the progress of your plants.
    Last time I went to visit my grandparents in Japan, I experienced first gardening of plants as family. Before that I thought gardening was a long term, boring tasks. But now I understand why my mother wants a garden in her patio. I signed up your facebook group and overly excited to sign up for a space to grow vegies!!!!

  12. heidrun says:

    First, thank you Brian for raising this question…and I am glad that the garden may serve as forum for talking about it. My point of view is that it is not a question of ‘either-or,’ that design is ‘compromised’ if social or environmental issues are addressed. To me, design includes looking at all aspects of the context within which the design is to live, and that means addressing social, economic, market, environmental, material, etc aspects. Would really like to understand what you mean….are you up for a cup of coffee?

  13. Brian says:

    Heidrun, I would welcome the opportunity. Thank you. brian@kamasutra.com

  14. Paul Delmont says:

    You guys got to give me a bed, I have been peeping that garden out, and to be honest, it is a a good start, although it really isn’t very sustainable and it obviously cost alot of money to build it up like they did, but at the end of the day, it is all about soil, and although there is nice framing now, the soil is shitty, the PH is probably way off, and nutrients are definitely not in check. If you guys hook me up with a box I will show you how to garden like a thug, and grow some real produce. I have been vegan for three years, and I have been gardening for closer to seven years so kick me down a bed and I will make sure that it is extra proper, Oh and also, you can’t rep. sustainability until you compost on site at the very least, and if you guys really want to get thug then make a ghetto tech rain catcher/ reservoir for water, and then when you are ready to get down like me get some chickens so that you can come up on sustainable eggs.

  15. Hi Brian,

    I understand that many design industry professionals do not consider the environment and social issues as a priority, but I believe that they should.