Last Thursday, Dana and I road-tripped to Lexington, VA to visit the folks out at Washington and Lee and check out their own community garden. There we met Bill Hamilton, a Biology professor at W&L who has been a major force behind the garden and has ensured its continual growth. At just under an acre, the W&L garden is quite a bit bigger than our own spot on the corner of McCormick and Alderman! During our visit, a throng of kids from the nearby YMCA camp were having a blast picking cherry tomatoes and watering the thirsty plants.
We were super impressed by W&L’s large-scale composting system (see photo below)– not to mention their flock of laying hens! We found out that the main focus of the garden at W&L is providing fresh produce for W&L’s “Campus Kitchen” project, which serves nearly 500 meals a week to local food shelters and directly to low income homes.
Seeing how another community garden works gave Dana and I a new appreciation for how unique each garden plot is, and how much we can learn from what other schools are doing. Throughout the rest of the summer we are hoping to reach out and visit even more student gardens around Universities in Virginia– next on our list of gardens to visit are VA Tech and William and Mary.