Earth Week started with a bang with the BIG Event! For those of you who missed out, the event was a community service project put on by Student Government Association. One of the sites this year was St. Edward’s very own garden.
The garden is located behind East and Teresa amidst all the blooming wildflowers. Students for Sustainability have put in a tremendous amount of work to get the garden back into shape this year. Environmental Science and Policy major, Ashley Shaw ’13 was the winner of the garden design contest and has worked as our dedicated leader through the planting and tilling process.
When most students were all snuggly in their beds, nine faithful volunteers were working hard getting dirty in the garden early Saturday morning. Weeds were picked, compost was added, and plants were planted. Aloe Vera, tomatoes, and green peppers were some of the plants that were added to the garden’s community. We had varying experience levels working on the garden; some had years of gardening under their belt while some of the volunteers had never planted a single plant! No worries though as Ashley showed everyone how to dig a reasonable sized hole and add phosphorus for the tomato plants. Everyone was such great worker bees that we managed to finish up before the event technically ended. When everyone finished the garden looked wonderful. The stone paths were cleared once again (discounting a stray lettuce plant and bluebonnet) and the edges were once again revealed thanks to Andy’s superior weeding abilities. An entire bed was turned and populated with tomato and green pepper plants. After all was done, we made sure to give all the plants a nice gulp of water to make sure they continue to be happy and un-wilted.
An interesting fact I learned out through gardening and talking to Ashley was that bluebonnets fix nitrogen. This is why bluebonnets love nitrogen soil. Now how is this important to our community garden one may ask? Ashley had noticed that bluebonnets were growing inside the garden which may indicate that our soil is lacking in necessary amounts of nitrogen. Nitrogen is needed for our vegetable and other plants to grow into happy, mature, fruiting plants. We may have never noticed or thought to check the soil nutrient levels if it wasn’t for these little flowers. The bluebonnets were just one example of how if we just open our eyes and observe what nature is telling us, it may give us an important message. If anyone is interested in helping with the garden please let Students for Sustainability know! We welcome anyone with any experience (or lack of) in gardening. Like us on our Facebook page at SEU Students for Sustainability. The more people we have interested and willing to help, the bigger we can make our garden! Even if you just enjoy watering, we need people every day to come out and give the plants some TLC.
Happy Earth Week!
Caitlin Coghlan ’15, Environmental Science and Policy, authored the blog