SLUG celebrates Earth Day

Megan Bjella

The snow on the ground last week may have been deceiving, but it is indeed spring – known by some as the gardening season.
Since the middle of winter term, students have been planning and working on the Sustainable Lawrence University Garden, affectionately known as SLUG.
Located behind the union next to Lawe Street, SLUG is an ongoing experiment in sustainable agriculture providing a hands-on learning opportunity for students.
You may be familiar with SLUG’s produce from the Fall Harvest Dinner first term. In addition to growing food to be served at Downer, SLUG sells produce all summer at the Downtown Appleton Farm Market.
Since its birth in 2004, Lawrence’s garden has undergone changes of different sorts. This year, along with planting some exciting new varieties of various seeds – the holy mol pepper and mortgage-lifter tomato come to mind – a hoop house will be constructed.
The hoop house will increase the productivity of the garden. “It will allow us to extend the growing season on both ends,” Ian Silver-Ramp said.
In other words, crops can be grown longer into the fall and earlier in the spring, which means you may be seeing SLUG’s produce in Downer before spring term is done. (It will probably have some exotic name – you’ll be sure to notice it.)
In addition, research and planning are being done to convert food scraps from Downer into compost. Radhika Garland, who has spoken with Director of Dining Services Pat Niles, says that Dining Services is interested in implementing a composting program and Niles is looking into existing programs at other colleges. “He thinks it’s important to have at Lawrence,” Garland says.
With the arrival of Earth Day comes the opportunity to literally get your hands dirty in the Sustainable Lawrence University Garden. From tiller races to bonfires, it’s guaranteed to be a good time. Come and join in the gardening fun!Here’s what SLUG has planned for Earth Day:
8:30 a.m.: Gardener’s breakfast. Enjoy eggs cooked to order right in the garden
All morning: Tilling of the garden. Tiller races anyone?
1-4:00 p.m.: Live musical entertainment
All afternoon: Raising the hoop house, garden clean-up and seedling planting in the greenhouse

If you are interested in learning more about the Sustainable Lawrence University Garden and ways you can get involved, please e-mail megan.l.bjella@lawrence.edu.

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