rainbow chard

How does our garden grow?

It's a labor of love for our CC student gardeners.

Learn more about the CC Farm Project.

for serving suggestions, tips, and favorite recipes from our student gardeners!
You can try it with your own fresh produce for delicious summer meals and snacks.

What is the CC garden? Is it new? CC students have maintained an organic garden for several years, but it's new to its current location, behind President Dick Celeste's home on Wood Avenue. CC students used to keep a garden at the historic Venetucci Farm, and the college will always want to maintain strong ties to this wonderful community treasure.

Who is involved in running the garden? This is a student-driven project, but has been given support from the college. There are 4 student garden managers, who are paid a small salary to work over the summer and oversee the operation of the garden. There are also several student volunteer gardeners, who work under the direct supervision of the 4 student managers. The garden has a faculty advisor, much like a student club would. Dr. Miro Kummel from our Environmental Science department serves as the mentor and faculty advisor to the gardeners.


Why did you move it closer to campus? The garden is an exercise in learning, and practicing, environmental sustainability and stewardship. While the students loved working at Venetucci Farm, it didn't make sense for them to drive back and forth every day during the growing season. The college owns the property where President Celeste lives (the Stewart House, located at 1228 Wood Avenue) and the home next door, 1210 Wood Avenue. The back yard has over 3 acres of land, going back all the way to Monument Creek, so there is a lot of available land on our property, situated well back from the street front. Students can walk or ride their bikes over to work during the summer growing months.

Is the garden a business? No. Colorado College is a long recognized non-profit, as one of the first educational institutions in Colorado. The garden is under the auspices of the college, so it's not a separate entity. The garden is funded through grants and foundational support, and does not need to generate revenue, nor is that our purpose in having a garden. If the City of Colorado Springs gives the blessing, the students will sell some of their fresh produce at local farmers' markets. (If this happens, you will want to buy some--it's delicious!) However, the main destination of the food we grow will be our own campus dining facilities; CC students will eat food grown by other CC students. Surplus produce is also donated to local soup kitchens, including our own CC Community Kitchen, one of the oldest continuous student-run soup kitchens in the nation. (A mid-day dinner is served every Sunday of the year in Shove Chapel, and community volunteers are always very much welcome and appreciated.) Students are also encouraged to attend farmers' markets to network with other local growers and farmers.

Is the garden a class? Not really. This is not a course taken for class credits. It's a voluntary student activity. A handful (4) of the students are being paid, as this is their summer job. Now, are students learning? Constantly. They are learning about traditional and organic gardening techniques, best practices and ideal soil and water conditions, and conservation. We would like to allow professors to bring students from their classes to visit the garden occasionally, but it is not the site of a "classroom."

Is this an organic garden? Yes. Everything is grown organically. Since this is not a commercial enterprise, we have not sought the official "organic" certification.

What's in the garden? The vegetables include rainbow chard, broccoli, cilantro, arugula, baby spinach, several varieties of lettuce, champion and french breakfast radishes, red ursa kale, and snow peas. There are also nine baby hen chicks, in their own special portable coop.

Is is okay for the college to have a garden in a residential zone? Of course. You can have a garden too!

The minimum we want is to simply comply within the letter of local zoning ordinances. But we want to do better than that and be good neighbors to our friends in this beautiful residential neighborhood. Quality-of-life impact from our garden should be minimal, and it is entirely possible to live very nearby and not be affected by it at all. If it has a positive impact for you, however, that is the best we can hope for. If you meet our student gardeners and their mentor, you will see that you couldn't ask for nicer people to be around.

That sounds nice, but what if I DO have parking, or foot-traffic, or other concerns? Please contact Connie Dudgeon, Community Relations Manager, at 719-389-6835, or email constance.dudgeon@coloradocollege.edu

for serving suggestions, tips, and favorite recipes from our student gardeners!
You can try it with your own fresh produce for delicious summer meals and snacks.

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