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Eco-Dorm Garden Crew


  A Community Garden

One of the college’s main talking points is its EcoDorm, a student residence that has achieved a platinum LEED certification for its sustainability features and whose residents share values of community and green living.  In front of the dorm is a community permaculture garden.  While any student may eat food grown in the garden, Sydney Darden is responsible for its upkeep.


What is permaculture?

According to Cathé Fish and Bill Steen in the Drylands Permaculture Newletter, permaculture is defined as

the use of ecology as the basis for designing integrated systems of food production, housing, appropriate technology, and community development. Permaculture is built upon an ethic of caring for the earth and interacting with the environment in mutually beneficial ways (1988).

 Permaculture in the garden

In accordance with this definition, the EcoDorm garden features a rainwater catchment tank, a grape arbor that shades the patio in the summer; perennial flowers, herbs and fruit trees; permanent beds, and mulched paths.  In designing the garden, the crew values both practicality and beauty.  They seek to maximize natural biological services, through, for instance, planting comfrey around trees to serve as both mulch and fertilizer, and  through creating a habitat for pollinating insects and beneficial organisms.


The grape arbor

EcoDorm Garden plants include…

…and many others.






More Pictures