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BC Community Garden Continues To Grow

For The Heights

Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01

garden

Rachi Saunders and Kelly Bruett / For The Heights

The Boston College Community Garden, now in its fourth year, offers BC students an opportunity to work closely with nature and bring organic produce to the University and the areas that surround it. Located on the Brighton Campus, the BC Garden is a project of the student club Real Food BC, the BC chapter of a nationwide organization known as the Real Food Challenge.

The Real Food Challenge works to promote the utilization of local sources of sustainable, organic food in university dining across America. On the upper level of Corcoran Commons, the Loft at Addie’s is evidence of Real Food BC’s presence on campus and is the result of the club’s alliance with BC Dining Services. Addie’s, with their motto “local tastes better,” has a menu of organic options with fresh ingredients from local sources.

While the BC Community Garden does not supply Addie’s with its fresh produce, for the first time this fall, a crop-sharing program has been implemented that facilitates business with local restaurants. Peace o’ Pie, a vegan pizzeria in Allston, makes their pizza sauce using basil, sage, and other herbs from the BC Garden. Also taking advantage of herbs grown on the Brighton Campus is Bill’s Pizzeria in Newton Center.

The new crop-sharing program is only one example of efforts being made by new leadership at Real Food BC to bring more benefits of the garden to the surrounding community. Another community program new to the BC Garden this year offers educational tours for elementary school children, informing young students about gardening and plant life.

All BC students can get involved with the campus garden by participating in garden work on Sundays from 3 to 5 p.m. Students and local residents come to the Brighton Campus on Sunday afternoons to help out by harvesting produce, weeding, and manicuring the 1,500 square foot garden. After harvesting, the volunteers set aside the proper quantities of fresh produce destined for local restaurants, and then have the opportunity to take the extra fruits, vegetables, and herbs home to their roommates or their families. This Sunday, the work will culminate in an outdoor cooking class led by Real Food BC’s head chef, Katie Woodward, A&S ’14.

 “We’re really trying to get people involved this year—we want people to be aware of this special resource available to our community,” said Kat Kavner, Real Food BC club president and CSOM ’14. “The garden is relatively small, but it’s full of a lot of really nice produce, and it’s gorgeous: the tomatoes growing, bright green herbs and beans … For me, it’s an escape—a sanctuary.”

Real Food BC will have its first general club meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20, in Devlin 008. For an online source of information, head to bcgarden.weebly.com, where you can find a map to the garden and fun facts such as what fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers are being grown on the Brighton Campus right now. You can also go to Real Food BC’s Facebook page, “Real Food BC 2012-13.”

“I am not a gardening expert at all,” Kavner said. “You don’t need to know anything about gardening. You just have to want to spend some time outside, make new friends, and be willing to get your hands a little dirty.”

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