It is the mission of the Organic Garden to create a garden of abundant nourishment; nourishment for the community, the mind, the body, and the future. The philosophy of the Organic Garden is to foster an environment filled with agricultural experimentation. For example the garden seeks to implement different cultures, such as horticulture, permaculture, and aquaculture. The practice of these cultures allow for people involved with the Organic Garden to learn through experience. Along with knowledge, the Garden teaches gardeners and guests to be appreciative. Watching and assisting a plant grow from seed to harvest can offer someone a new perspective on the value of food–a commodity that can so often be taken for granted in the era of GMO and mass production.
The Organic Garden grows a wide variety of both annual and perennial vegetables, fruits, and herbs. In an effort to improve soil fertility, the Organic Garden accepts contributions of food scraps from student houses. In the simple but effective compost system, the Garden turns the contributed waste into soil rich with organic matter. In its entirety, the Garden’s purpose is to provide a space where students and community members can play with chickens, get dirty in the soil, and enjoy the process of creatively growing, and hopefully eating, food.
Open Garden is an event when the garden is open to anyone and everyone who wants to be involved. Open Gardens are held on Sundays (2-4 p.m.) and other days throughout the week depending on the availability of the club president or the budget manager, and whether there are expressed interests from the student body. During winter months Open Gardens are less frequent to due the weather constraints. (Information about Open Gardens is offered through the Whitman College listserv, firstname.lastname@example.org, and on a Facebook page titled: Whitman College Organic Garden which is a public group)