By Amy Woolvett
Students and staff are growing a better appreciation of fresh from the garden foods at the Nova Scotia Community College in Shelburne while simultaneously saving costs.
The campus is entering into its second year growing produce with a large greenhouse they built themselves.
Head cook for the cafeteria Donna Bower said she uses all of the produce in her cooking to feed the approximately 150 students per day.
“We try to get all our students involved,” she said. “It’s good for the students.”
“It is delicious and healthier,” said Clarence Butler with the college student association.
They said they have received nothing but rave reviews of their fresher, tastier menu since implementing the garden project.
“We use all our vegetables in the kitchen,” said Bower. “We don’t have to buy tomatoes, cucumbers or lettuce.”
They grow a variety of other vegetables like snow peas and green onions. Bower said all of the produce grows extremely well.
William Nickerson, facility head of maintenance, has taken the lead in the project; building the structure and making sure the plants have been cared for.
The greenhouse is completely set up to give the plants full advantage including an irrigation system that gives plants a fine mist twice per day and is hooked up to a solar powered system.
“It is off the grid,” said Nickerson. “The only thing it is hooked to is water.”
Bower hopes the project might raise the next generation of people growing their own produce in their backyards.
“Kids these days don’t know where their food comes from.”