It has certainly been an interesting ride so far. It is hard to believe that just a few short months ago, we didn’t have the land, we didn’t have a plan, and we didn’t know what we would be growing. But that quickly changed, due to the hard work of several members of the IWU campus, and the overwhelming support from various factions of faculty, students, and staff.
Yet the garden is still growing, and our plan is still evolving. We are growing some produce for Sodexho, our food service here on campus, (mostly potatoes). But the rest remains largely undetermined. We intend to donate some to charity and have been in contact with Clare House, but is that the best way to address food justice? Is that not just an attempt to deal with the symptoms of an inequitable food society, and not address the source of that problem?
I don’t mean to doubt or question our decision to donate to Clare House, they need the food and as this is our first growing season, we are limited in our production of produce as only a portion of our land is being cultivated right now. I simply wish to ruminate on the possibilities before the garden, and to invite ideas as to how to best solve this complex issue before us.
How do we eliminate food deserts? How do we ensure proper nutrition for all? These are no simple questions, and there are no simple answers. Fortunately, I am at a University that happens to have some really smart people, and I rest easier knowing that even if my time is complete before the task at hand is, someone will pick up the torch and carry on. The passion and involvement from our campus community has proven that, and so I eagerly await to see the future garden.