Morningside has a garden on campus that is maintained by students and staff to provides opportunities for the Morningside community. The agriculture department plays a big role in the garden’s success to give food to the cafeteria.

The garden was started with a small match grant from The Wellmark Foundation for $10,000 to start everything. They also requested and got $5,000 from the Morningside student government to help. [talk to Tom Paulsen and how the garden started and his experience with it]

The 3500 square foot garden was started in 2018 and grew potatoes, carrots, white onions, radishes, and an assortment of herbs. Most of these vegetables were sold to Sodexo, the food service management company for Morningside and the garden’s main purchaser. These vegetables were served in the campus cafeteria.

The same vegetables were grown in 2019, but squash, green beans, eggplant, and zucchini were added into the garden. There are raised beds and in-ground beds. These plants are grown during the summer and fall seasons to be ready for harvest in the latter.

Dee McKenna, the manager of the garden oversees the interns who work in the garden and keeps track of the work put into the garden. She ensures the garden is being taken care of and creates opportunities for people to visit and spend time learning in the garden. She spends time working with the Morningside students and says, “They all come to the garden with different experiences and expectations.”

            There are “workshops” for local elementary schools to visit and learn about gardening. There are days when various classes visit the garden and see what impact the garden is making and makes people aware of what the agriculture department is doing. The garden is hands-on and unlike other experiences on campus.

            The interns from the agriculture department do a lot to maintain the garden. They spend hours in the garden in the summer and fall to take care of it for harvest season. They keep it clean and make sure they produce high quality vegetables for Sodexo. Some leftover vegetables go to other organizations like the Gospel Mission or Food Bank of Siouxland.

            The interns learn a lot and gain experience from taking care of the garden’s needs. [talk about what intern Lou has to say]

            Threats to the garden are rabbits, insects, and people who come and take vegetables or flowers. The raised beds of flowers are there to attract bees and butterflies for pollination. People will come and pick the flowers for their own. McKenna says the rabbits are the biggest issue because they get into the in-ground beds and eat all the fresh plants and vegetables.

            The garden is made possible by students each day and they enjoy doing it. [Last paragraph Dee: “Seriously, I absolutely love my job. The students make it the best.”]

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