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Calling All Green Thumbs
June 25, 2012
GW’s GroW Garden is looking for volunteers this summer.
In the last year, George Washington University’s Foggy Bottom GroW Garden has tripled in size.
Located on the north side of H Street between 23rd and 24th streets, the garden boasts a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs, which when harvested are all donated to a nearby nonprofit organization that provides nutritious meals to the homeless.
And this summer, the garden is looking for members of the GW community who are willing to grab a hose, pull some weeds and harvest the garden’s fresh grown food.
“We are so happy to see the GroW garden thriving this summer,” said Shannon Ross, stakeholder engagement coordinator in GW’s Office of Sustainability. “We encourage anyone who is interested to get involved by signing up to volunteer.”
Students, faculty and staff interested in volunteering can sign up here.
The garden, which opened in September 2009, is managed by the Food Justice Alliance, a GW student organization, and aims to provide the community with local and organic food, protect and enhance GW’s ecosystem and promote community service.
“Our main goal is to show that you can grow food in your own backyard regardless of where you live,” said Julia Wagner, a rising sophomore and one of two students managing the garden this summer. “Most people in the city don’t have a plot this big, but it’s still possible to have local and fresh food even if it’s just a pot on your porch.”
The garden offers spicy and sweet peppers, carrots, eggplant, beets, cucumbers, tomatoes, okra, Swiss chard, kale, lettuce, squash, zucchini, corn, figs, artichokes, rhubarb, raspberries and blueberries. Ms. Wagner’s favorite part of the garden is the fresh herbs including basil, oregano, cilantro, parsley, chamomile, thyme, sage and dill.
“The garden reflects the goals of GW's Ecosystem Plan, in our commitment to support sustainable food production on campus,” said Ms. Ross. “We applaud the students managing the garden as well as the volunteers for their work on this project.”
Every week, Ms. Wagner and her fellow summer garden manager, Haley Burns, harvest several pounds of food and deliver it to local nonprofit organization Miriam’s Kitchen. The garden has already donated more than 141 pounds of food to the organization this summer.
Beginning this month, Miriam’s Kitchen patrons will volunteer in the garden once a month and learn about a specific aspect of the space such as the role of pollinators in the garden. And in return Ms. Wagner and Ms. Burns will volunteer at Miriam’s Kitchen to help prepare dinner using some of the food that was harvested from the garden.
“It’s really cool because I planted these seeds and now I get to see the food they produced on somebody’s plate making them happy and healthy,” said Ms. Wagner. “The garden is a way to grow our community and interact and bond with one another.”