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Peppers, Peas Sprouting in EcoSense’s Community Garden

EcoSense is seeking volunteers to help water and weed the community garden, nestled behind Nebraska Hall. (Photo: Jeff Watts)

 A cornucopia of fruits and veggies are sprouting in AU’s new community garden, a 100-square-foot swath of soil behind Nebraska Hall.

Tended by a group of green thumbs from EcoSense, a student environmental club, the plot features lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, peas, carrots, basil, watermelon, and eggplant. The perimeter is lined with marigolds to fend off bugs.

“It’s important to eat locally as much as possible,” said Kate Pinkerton, one of the students managing the project. “Knowing that you produced your own food and that you reduced your carbon footprint in the process is even better.”

Though plans for distributing the produce are still in the works, Pinkerton said EcoSense hopes to host a community picnic with food from the garden.

“Nothing beats a homegrown tomato,” laughed the environmental studies major.

The garden was funded by a $1000 award from AU’s Eagle Endowment, which supports student-led community service projects. It will also be used to bring D.C. public school students to campus to teach them about ecological sustainability.

Facilities Management also chipped in, tilling the soil and erecting a deer fence. EcoSense is looking for more AU community members to help with watering and weeding. Those interested in getting their hands dirty should email althea.mickiewicz@american.edu.