Our Own Garden in the City

Our Own Garden in the City

Blog Post 43 Photo 1

On Saturday, I volunteered for Loyola’s Urban Agriculture Program at the greenhouse in the Institute of Environmental Sustainability (IES). The program promotes developing sustainable local food systems. It aims to educate Loyola students and faculty, supply products for the various local food-related programs and organizations, as well as engage community members in the urban agriculture project.

Though the Greenhouse Lab is not certified organic, it adheres to organic procedures in order to promote a less toxic environment for all living things. While working, preparing and cleaning two boxfuls of harvested lettuce from the aquaponic system, all or which  was to be donated to a local food organization, a couple of us volunteers discussed the difficulty for college students to live by organic and sustainable eating lifestyle. It is more cost friendly for us to buy groceries at Aldi’s rather than Whole Foods or Trader Joes. Accessibility seems to pose one of the most prominent problems with regard to urban agriculture.

In 2014, volunteers, comprised 14 student employees and 300 student volunteers, managed the greenhouse, two aquaponic systems, and three gardens around campus, which are Winthrop Garden, Mertz Terrace Garden, and Quinlan Rooftop Garden. Though the Quinlan garden requires special access, I highly encourage everyone to visit it. Not only does it have an amazing view of the lake, the southern part of campus, and the rest of the neighborhood, it is quiet hideout, great for breaking away from the bustling city. Just a five minute commute will make you feel relaxed in the serenity of Mother Nature at her best.



Image from: http://www.luc.edu/sustainability/initiatives/urban-agriculture/index.shtml

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