As we head into the sixth season at the Campus Garden we reflect back on our mission to serve the Whitewater Food Pantry with fresh, organic produce, as well as to educate the campus and community about the benefits of organic gardening. A majority of the produce grown gets donated weekly to the local food pantry. To date we have donated over 5,000 pounds of produce; with roughly 1,400 pounds donated last year and 1,700 pounds donated in 2016. By adding a small orchard with a wide variety of fruit trees, we hope to reach the goal of donating 2,000 pounds of fresh produce per year.
Updates from the Garden Manager
As the weather gets warmer and the spring season approaches, activity in the Upham Greenhouse and the Campus Garden is rapidly increasing. The seedlings planted in early March (onions, leeks, kale, cauliflower, and broccoli) are craving the outdoors, awaiting the early planting sessions. The daily indoor watering and care of tomatoes, peppers, beets, chard, herbs, and brassicas will soon be replaced by the natural water cycle and some irrigation in the garden. Soon, we will be planting the seeds of cucurbits (cucumbers, melons, and squash). After some bed prepping, edging, and maintenance, all the seedlings will be ready to be planted throughout the month of May. This is a yearly routine with a strict schedule.
Though the schedule is demanding, we are introducing some new additions to the garden with inspiration from permaculture design. Our orchard is becoming much vaster with a wide variety of fruit trees and exotic shrubs. From native elderberry to plum trees, the diversity within the Campus Garden is growing each season.
This time of year, the amount of work needed outdoors is accumulating. We aim to plant crops outdoors in early May, and the full planting will take place after the last average frost date in late May. Volunteer hours continue from May through late October or early November, depending on first frost.
How to Get Involved
The best way for you to support the Campus Garden is to volunteer your time and energy by joining us for the work needed to keep up with the garden. Gardening tasks that regularly need our attention include bed prep/turning, weeding, watering, seeding/planting, harvesting, transplanting, cleaning/sanitizing, and more. Without the helping hands of our volunteers, we would not have the time available to maintain the garden and keep it going, so any and all help is greatly appreciated!
All skill levels are welcome. Tools and gloves are provided, but we recommend any experienced gardener to bring your tools you are most comfortable using (and maybe show us how you do it)! Volunteer hours are tracked for reporting to a number of different organizations that require them.
Join us at the Campus Garden, located between the Moraine Bookstore and Ambrose Health Center on Starin Road (764 W. Starin Road, Whitewater, WI 53190).
- Lend a hand planing tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, melons, squash, peas, beans, radishes, greens, carrots, and herbs! Check out our Facebook event for more information.
- Tuesday, May 29 from 3 – 7 PM
Volunteer Sessions (May)
- Tuesdays: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
- Thursdays: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
- Fridays: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Volunteer Sessions (June – August)
- Mondays 3-6 PM
- Tuesdays 3-6 PM (Harvesting!)
- Wednesdays 9-11 AM
- Thursdays 10 AM-1 PM