Monday, July 16, 2012

Flo's Campus Garden is Ripe and Ready for Harvest

photo by Bradley J. Rayford / Forum
by Jeff Siler of The Forum

  It’s summer so that can only mean it’s time to pull out the tiger trowel, shrubbery fork, and bulb planter and see what you can come up with out in the garden. Make sure to have good planting soil before you can start. One place that does have the technique down is the Campus Garden right here on the campus of Florissant Valley.
  With help from a handful of students, Dr. Mark Manteuffel, an adjunct professor at Washington University and the assistant professor of Biology on the Florissant Valley Campus, has been working tirelessly to see this project through. Since last fall the garden has been up and running and it is harvest time for a majority of the vegetables which include, but are not limited to, beets, cabbage, basil, green and red onions, zucchini, sweet peppers, and jalapenos.
  According to Manteuffel, “It’s going. We’re encountering issues here and there but it’s producing wonderful vegetables.” Surprisingly, no mammals have attacked the crops but the few issues that have all been fixed included things like worms, light fungus, and minor insects.
The lack of rain and excessive heat over the summer have not posed a threat to the garden as the crews have been working day in and day out to make sure all of the vegetables and plants get plenty of water. Student involvement has also continued throughout the summer and has expanded to include the Ecology Club. Manteuffel hopes to increase student participation in the coming months and numerous members of the community have also expressed interest in the Campus Garden, so there is no lack of contribution in the process.
  For the fall, Manteuffel says, “We’re working on a big sign so that people can be aware of what we’re doing, t-shirts, more physical club activities, and fundraisers where we sell the produce,” and curriculum wise, “We are developing a Soil Testing Ecology Lab.”  
  If you are interested in helping with the garden or just want to see what it looks like, take the time out to make a trip to the old baseball diamond located on the southwest corner of campus and see what the Campus Garden has to offer.  For any questions on how to become involved with the garden, contact Mark Manteuffel at mmanteuffel@stlcc.edu.

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