Co-written with Dan Legault

Wow, it’s time to do this again.  With the school year on our heels we also see the coming of the food harvest at the Trent Vegetable Gardens (TVG).

Using both urban rooftop gardening practices and a field site right here on campus, there is an abundance of produce to collect. The food goes to the local student-driven vegetarian cafe called The Seasoned Spoon and overflow goes to not-for-profit organizations like Food Not Bombs and of course to our volunteers. Each year has a different outcome based on weather, what the plants feel like doing, the volunteer base and the vision of the coordinators. For example. this year at the field garden we were able to clear a larger portion of the land to grow storage crops for the new root cellar that is at Champlain College.

Students are drawn to Trent for its environmentally driven ideals, its natural and wild campus, its athletics, and its trails. Trent University has the potential to become a forerunner in developing a low impact perpetual food system growing from seed to plate to compost and back again. With the evolution of the new Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Program, the chance to make change on a local and global level increases as ideas, methods, and experiments are researched and developed right here at Trent. The TVG are dedicated not only to food sustainability, but also to bringing free hands-on education to anyone interested.

We facilitate workshops where you can learn different ways of producing food on a do-it-yourself basis and small-scale gardening. By teaching these methods we can make quality food accessible to communities while at the same time decreasing the cost of food to the individual.

In September we have Travis Phelp of Greenshire Eco Farms who will be lecturing about Hügelkultur beds that are a great way to retain water while providing your crops with large amounts of nutrients and needed fungi. This is a great opportunity to draw from Travis’ experiences and knowledge base in this field…dig it?

The gardens’ functioning is dependent on volunteers and helpers who dedicate their time and effort to tasks like putting up posters around town, harvesting, weeding, and preparing garden beds for winter.

The Rooftop Garden is located across the Faryon Bridge on the East Bank. Room B305.1 on the third floor of the ERC building is where a portion of our veggies grow. The Field Garden is located behind the far left side of the DNA building past a gated research plot.  So come to the gardens and ask questions, get a tour or lend a hand: [email protected]