Hamline News

Growing More Than Food at Hamline


Valentine Cadieux, the director of sustainability and environmental studies, and the garden interns spent countless hours organizing, planting, and tending to the several garden beds on campus this summer. Now, the beds are ready to be harvested again, and the produce can be picked by students who need it.

Currently, the sustainability team takes care of the five garden beds around Hamline. The Peace and Appreciation beds are located in the green space behind East Hall, and the other three beds are part of the Hamline Micro Farm, located behind the Hamline United Methodist Church.

These small plots of city land grow fresh foods such as tomatoes, squash, peppers, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and various greens.

“Last year we spent a lot of time developing the beds and making sure everything looked good.” explains Cadieux. “Now, interns are making signs advertising the gardens.”

The signs, which garden intern senior Samantha Weiss is responsible for, describe what different foods are in the beds, why soil carbon is important, or where food waste goes and how it can be used to grow new food. Importantly, the signs also notify readers that the food can be harvested with a simple statement, ‘This is what is ripe, so help yourself.’

This summer the interns gave garden tours for the neighborhood and for the local gardening community. The gardens also provided greens, herbs, and veggies to top the pizzas for a dinner during the 2018 Creation Care Summit held at Hamline in July.  

Cadieux believes that providing students with tactile experiences tending the gardens lays the stepping stones for sustainability in our campus and community. As stated on the “peace pole” in the Peace and Appreciation beds, students at Hamline tend these gardens to contribute to campus nourishment, peace, and appreciation.

The pole's inscription reads, “We share the yields of these gardens across campus in the form of research in this outdoor classroom, produce shared to feed each other, flowers given to express appreciation, peace built through our community efforts, and shared learning about how to grow diverse plants and to practice being together in the world, making peace and liberation.”

In addition to the intentions, the word “peace” appears in twelve different languages --the most spoken languages on campus according to surveys conducted by Cadieux’s team and Institutional Effectiveness.

See it for yourself and take some food. It’s a great time to visit the gardens as many items are ripe, including tomatoes, herbs, peppers, squashes, and assorted greens.

If you or anyone you know is interested in helping with the gardens or the sustainability office’s other campus efforts, please email them at sustainability@hamline.edu.