Octopus’s Garden in the shade

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By Jessica Doran

Octopus’s Garden was created in 2007 as collaboration between members of Ozone House and faculty and staff members who wanted an organic garden on campus. Ozone members Olivier Bouchard ‘07 and Nathali Neal ‘07 were of particular importance to this movement.  In the spring of 2008, After great developmental efforts on behalf of administrators and Facilities,  the group got a small plot in the current location near the tennis courts.   Connie Schmitz of Facilities was instrumental both in choosing the plot and insuring that it was properly taken care of for planting. Dining Services provided much of the funding initially for seeds and equipment.   After coming to fruition, the garden has doubled in size over the last three years.  Each year it produces over 1000 pounds of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs.  A significant portion goes to Schenectady food pantries and the rest goes to Dining Services. In 2009 a straw shed was built to house the garden’s equipment and to store and dry produce.  This year there will be movement towards installing solar panels on the shed to provide power for lighting. Any student who wants to get involved should contact either Hugh Jenkins or Connie Schmitz at octopusgarden@union.edu.

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