Friday, 10 April 2009

Gardeners on the roof ( MIT news )

Gardeners on the roof

Vegetables, flowers to grow atop West Garage in sustainable agriculture exercise

Patrick Gillooly, News Office
April 8, 2009

This summer, vegetables, flowers and herbs will take the place of some of the cars and trucks atop MIT's West Garage as part of MIT's first-ever community garden.

The pilot program in urban sustainable agriculture is the result of a months-long effort spearheaded by MIT Police Sgt. Cheryl Vossmer and Libraries Administrative Assistant and Public Service Support Associate Ryan Gray. Working with administrators and staff across the Institute, the two were able to secure seven little-used parking spaces and a strip of grass at West Garage to house the garden, which will comprise several dozen plots. The remainder of the spots on the garage's roof will still be open for parking this summer.
"It's a wonderful opportunity to reduce our carbon footprints and do great outreach," Vossmer says, noting that the garden fits in with a number of different Institute objectives regarding sustainability and green living.

The project also aims to foster community and give back to those in need: At least 2 percent of all harvested produce will be given to Food for Free, a local charity that finds and distributes fresh food to pantries, meal programs and shelters. Food for Free already collects fresh fruit and vegetables from a local farm that delivers to campus in the summer, an initiative that Gray helped launch last year......