By: Jaya Borgatta, 2013 Summer Garden Manager
Hello, I am Jaya Borgatta and I will be managing the Skidmore Student Garden for the summer. While undeclared, my academic interests include biology and environmental studies. Thus far, working in the garden has been a wonderful and rewarding experience! I have already learned a lot about gardening and organization. I have also enjoyed working with the North Woods Stewards and the Sustainability Fellows. I can’t wait to see what the garden has in store for us!
The Skidmore Garden began as a student initiative to experiment with small-scale organic agriculture and to provide local food to the Skidmore community. As time has passed the garden has been remodeled to work within the principles of permaculture. Permaculture gardens use little inputs and produce little waste. This growing season there is an emphasis on companion planting. Companion planting focuses on growing plants that provide each other with mutually beneficial services, like using plants that help repel pests and enrich soil to increase plant yields. With these practices in mind we have planted many varieties of veggies together in the same beds.
There is still a lot we can learn about permaculture, so to further develop the permaculture design and improve growing practices of the garden, Levi Rogers, Sustainability Fellow, and I will be attending the Permaculture Your Campus Conference at U-Mass Amherst. This is going to be an exciting experience for both of us as we connect with others and begin to implement new ideas in the Skidmore Garden.
While effectively implementing permaculture practices is a goal for this growing season, other goals include increasing accessibility, community involvement, increasing crop yields, and increasing revenues so the garden can become economically self-sustaining. We also hope to grow mushrooms this year as a way to diversify the garden and increase revenues. For now though, we are working to restore the garden and prepare it for what should be a wonderful season.
To stay up to date on all garden activities, please visit our blog!