The Office of Sustainability has started and maintains three food production sites on campus. All three of these sites are available for volunteers, interns, visitors, group tours, and much more! They are your free resource to receive hands-on training for sustainable food production. Click on the links for the volunteer schedules and to learn more.
The Potomac Heights Organic Vegetable Garden (Managed by student led GOGA)
In order to volunteer, you will be required to sign up in advance through Sign-Up Genius (links below). Can’t make it to these shifts? Let us know what time works better for you, and we may be able to accommodate your availability. Thank you for your cooperation and participation!
Get involved by joining GOGA (the student-led Organic Gardening Association) by contacting Rhys, our Garden Team Leader, at email@example.com to ask about membership and leadership roles. Or participate in our upcoming Cooking Competition!
These weekly shifts are set for anyone to come volunteer and get involved. You can help out with harvests, seed sowing, transplanting, mulching, composting and more. You do not need any prior experience to volunteer, we will teach you everything you need to know. The greenhouse is indoors and heated, so you can show up no matter the weather (except when the University is closed for inclement weather or holiday). The garden shifts may be cancelled if it’s expected to rain.
If you plan to volunteer I recommend wearing clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting wet or dirty. Also, please bring your own reusable water bottle to stay hydrated. The greenhouse and gardens get hot on sunny days, so please dress in layers in case you need to cool off, and we recommend wearing a hat and/or sunscreen.
You can watch our Volunteer Tutorial Videos to be prepared before you get started:
Introduction to the Innovation Food Forest https://youtu.be/V9qA8_fmeEs
How to Compost On-Campus https://youtu.be/Ge9QQUlXPOk
Entering the Greenhouse https://youtu.be/3A7ByEbfGRk
Worm Bin Sorting How To https://youtu.be/-y4LdkaRM-s
More videos coming soon!
Gardening is a very simple yet powerful activity for those interested in living more sustainably. Starting your own garden is transformative on both a personal, a local and global scale. Each fruit and veggie grown on your plot lessens your need for purchasing fruits and vegetables grown several thousand miles away- lessening your carbon footprint. At-home gardeners are also less-likely to need chemical fertilizers and pesticides as smaller, diverse plots are healthier and less susceptible to pest invasion.
Growing fruits and vegetables at home will not only make mealtimes more enjoyable (tastier, more flavorful food), your wallet will be happier too! Homegrown vegetables require only a fraction of the cost of most conventional, store-bought produce. Lastly, (and our favorite) gardening builds community. Something special happens when people get outside, get their hands in the dirt, and grow together.
Check out these other gardens on campus too: