The Student Garden Club
The official Harvard student group is responsible for the day-to-day maintenance and management of the garden during the academic year. The Student Garden Club organizes community programming, open work days, and other activities and events on campus in collaboration with other related student groups. The student gardeners work with rising interns during the spring semester to introduce them to the space and vision for the garden. During the fall semester the previous summers’ interns help orient returning Garden Club students. All students and interns at the garden are expected to keep detailed and careful records of programming, contacts, projects, and production to help transfer knowledge as students come and go. The Student Garden Club has a leadership structure, seed funding from the Office for Student Life, and a bank account at the Harvard Credit Union.
Harvard Garden Summer Interns
Each March, two students are selected from a pool of applicants to serve as summer interns. Ideally each crop of interns sees a full growing season. They spend some time during the spring semester attending garden meetings and workdays. During the summer the interns work in the garden planning, growing, harvesting, and distributing produce as well as learning about urban farming and the food system. They also work at the Farmers' Market at Harvard and develop and offer community programming in the garden and build relationships with local groups and organizations. They keep detailed records of all of their activities and write a final report to help transition daily management to the Student Garden Club in the fall. Interns are expected to continue their involvement in the garden into the fall by actively engaging in Student Garden Club activities and garden workdays.
Food Literacy Project (FLP) Coordinator
The Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS) FLP Coordinator serves as an advisor to the Student Garden Club and supports programmatic planning to ensure the garden reaches its full academic and social potential for Harvard students and faculty and the Cambridge community. The FLP Coordinator oversees the summer internship program and, through HUDS, provides administrative support and coordination that ensures continuity at the garden year-to-year. Though the Garden and FLP are distinct programs, FLP Fellows and the Student Garden Club students have great potential to collaborate on events and projects on campus that aim to educate and engage the community in the food system.
(from their website) Faith Kitchen prepares and serves a free meal on the second and last Tuesday of each month. Some of the people who eat the food also help cook it, and all involved (cooks, cleaners, hosts, and guests) eat the meal together. Faith Kitchen is a cooperative effort of Faith Lutheran Church, Temple Beth Shalom, and many other members of the community. http://www.faithkitchen.org/
Food for Free
(from their website) Since 1981, Food For Free rescues fresh food—food that might otherwise go to waste—and distributes it within the local emergency food system where it can reach those in need. Through a combination of food rescue, farming, and transportation services, we give food programs year-round access to fresh fruits and vegetables, while our delivery program brings food directly to isolated seniors and people with disabilities. Programs address not only short-term hunger, but obesity, diet-related disease, and other long-term health effects of food insecurity and poor nutrition. In addition, food rescue—also called salvage or gleaning—reduces food waste. http://www.foodforfree.org/
There are many community partners who engage in the garden space. Local schools, summer camps, and youth refugee resettlement programs have all participated in garden lessons led by the interns. Local artists have contributed their ideas and work to the space. Bootstrap Compost company helped build a community compost system. The food pantries and soup kitchens where the garden produce is distributed are partners as well.
There are many opportunities for the garden space to be used for academic purposes. Several classes already visit the space, tour the garden, or simply enjoy a pleasant meeting place. With growing interest in food systems, the Harvard Garden can play a key role in bringing together those working in food.