BY ALEX GRUBER
The St. Norbert College Garden Club has continued to grow since its creation in 2012.
2014 marked the second growing season of the garden as the organization worked to provide fresh, local and organic food to the community. The garden, a ¼-acre plot next to Lot 16 on campus, uses no pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. The vegetables, fruits and herbs from the garden are grown with only sunlight, water, compost and the hard work that Garden Club members put into it.
Malorie Imhoff ’15, one of the founders and current co-president of the Garden Club, stated that the organization’s goal is to “connect students with their food and serve the community.”
One of the ways the Garden Club does this is through donating around half of their produce to SNC Dining Services, which puts the fresh, locally grown vegetables, herbs and fruit in the salad bar and even in some entrees.
During the garden’s first season, all of the produce (nearly 1,800 pounds of it) went to Paul’s Pantry, a local food pantry in Green Bay. The Garden Club still donates about half of its produce to Paul’s Pantry.
The organization also sells some of its produce in a stand outside of Michels Commons every Monday from 4 to 5 p.m., at prices consistent with those of other local growers.
Some of the items that students can find at the booth and in the cafeteria include garden staples like potatoes, tomatoes, melons and pumpkins, as well as more unusual fare like yellow watermelon and purple tomatillos.
The Garden Club will promote its mission and provide local and organic food at a Harvest Dinner on Wednesday, September 24, in Michels Commons. The event will last from 4:30 to 7 p.m., featuring meals made with the garden produce and a large display from the club.
The SNC Garden Club will also host its second annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 11, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the garden. The event, which is free and open to the public, will have food, games, live music, a silent auction and raffle baskets to celebrate the year’s bounty.
The St. Norbert College garden is open to students and residents of the surrounding area.
Imhoff explained that it is a “community garden,” where any SNC student can go for Sacred Hour each Wednesday, or a community member may walk for enjoyment.
The Garden Club works with several area organizations to further its mission of organic, local food. Luna Café donates all coffee grounds to the garden for composting and club members have helped students from the Syble Hopp School, a school for children with special needs, to learn about gardening.
The Garden Club also organizes fundraisers throughout the year for different causes such as food justice and sustainability. Those students wishing to join the club may contact Malorie Imhoff at firstname.lastname@example.org for weekly meeting times.
“A student can be as much or as little involved as they want,” said Imhoff. “There is plenty of room for creativity and innovation” within the club.
With its roots firmly established, the St. Norbert College Garden Club is poised to fully spread its vines and take its place in the sun.