Octopus’s Garden’s plea for assistance

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By Livia Carroll

Octopus’s Garden is a site to behold. The first Sunday in May was planting day, and by mid-to-late-summer we will begin harvesting tomatoes, carrots, onions, squash, garlic, basil, beans, potatoes and more. Octopus’s Garden began as a student project that has blossomed into a wonderful, high yielding vegetable garden, the proceeds of which are donated to local food kitchens and to our own dining halls.

The unofficial leader of our gardening troup is the campus Landscape Specialist Connie Schmitz. She donates her own time to the garden, which probably averages to more than 10 hours a week.  In truth, the garden would not survive without her supervision and direct help.

Now that I have sung the praises of our garden and the person who keeps it going, it is time to address a serious shortfall. Octopus’s Garden is a student project, but so far very few students participate. I’m not sure if I have even seen any students so far this year. If students do not make a long-term commitment to the project, it may not survive past this year’s harvest. Already this year there have been items that we have not been able to plant because too few students are participating to help tend to the garden.

Gardens are like children and pets—they cannot survive without constant and tender loving care. So we ask you to stop by to take a look at the garden, appreciate why it is here and then consider what our campus would be like without it.

I can promise that if you commit to just one hour a week and watch the result, you will gain far more than you give. As Alton Brown said, “Your efforts will be rewarded.” Thank you.

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