Campus garden continues to grow

April 17, 2018 By eastern247
Squash from EWU greenhouse

The EWU Office of Sustainability has gotten a head start on their crops for the campus garden this spring. In an effort to better preserve the crops and avoid overabundance, crops were planted in the greenhouse in late February—the earliest they’ve planted in the greenhouse.

“It’s challenging at Eastern because our campus almost shuts down in the summer,” said sustainability coordinator Erik Budsberg. “We’re aiming for crops that will be ready for June as well as crops that will be coming into harvest in September.”

Funded by EWU Dining Services, the campus garden provides many vegetables to localize meals for students on campus. Vegetables that are currently growing in the greenhouse include cabbage, tomatoes, squash, brussels sprouts, jalapenos and green onions. Once ready, they will be transferred to the garden.

We’re working with the chefs more to coordinate what they want and need,” said Budsberg.

In addition to financial support, EWU Dining Services is able to help provide a small amount of compost for the garden through Barr-Tech Composting.

“In dining, especially in Tawanka right now, we compost food in the back of the kitchen,” said Budsberg. “They compost the food scraps and it goes to a place called Barr-Tech, which handles almost all of the compost in the area. They take it, mix it with other composts, and donate some of it back to us to use for our garden and reapply it, and it’s kind of a full circle process.”

In the next month, the garden will become home to eight beehives—doubling from last year—in partnership with the West Plains Beekeeping Association. Though unsuccessful last year, Budsberg hopes to be able to provide honey to the community this year.

“We just want people to know the garden is here,” said Budsberg. “It’s a student resource, we want people to feel free to come down and see what’s going on.”

The EWU campus garden is located behind the Red Barn that houses the EWU Police Station.