Field to fork has never been closer to home
The Chef's Garden, located in the field behind the Banting Building, is currently in its second year of development. The garden enables the Agricultural Campus to supply our own vegetables for on-campus dining and education.
A student-driven initiative
The Chef’s Garden project was initiated by one of our students (now graduated), Meghan Summers, to encourage campus sustainability. Meghan completed her fourth-year project with a proposal to turn the field behind the Banting Building into a market garden on campus. That seed was planted and we now boast a 1.1-acre (121’ x 400’) Chef’s Garden to produce food for campus dining using organic principles and a mandate for sustainability.
The vision was to also provide an educational resource for students and the public—a living classroom that also acts as a collection space for plants as the campus expands on its goals for the Chef's Garden. The Chef’s Garden has also taken up the responsibility of improving campus sustainability by providing a means to supply food to the kitchen from other sources on the Agricultural Campus.
The garden produces a highly diverse crop, supplying the kitchen with produce. In the course of production, the consumption needs of the kitchen and crop production plans for the Chef's Garden will be refined to reflect a more detailed production cost and production plan for following years. This season, much of the Garden's infrastructure will be installed, including an irrigation system and a fence around the perimeter.
Crops being produced include: beets, broccoli, lettuce, radish, spinach, cauliflower, cucumber, zucchini, green beans, wax beans, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, cabbage, onions, turnip, squash, parsnips and carrots. As always, it is hard to predict each season and the high diversity is partly to determine crop production quality at our site, as some crops may fail. Of course, this is not the ultimate goal of the Chef's Garden.
Previous Growing Seasons
The 2011 growing season was the first season of development, which broke new ground starting in late May, early June. Read more about our Harvest History.