Elevating Our Communities to New Heights
Two gardens on Loyola's campus demonstrate some of the best small-scale urban agriculture techniques from Chicago and the world. This demonstration is intended to educate students, faculty, and staff of the University as well as the greater community.
Currently, all food produced on the gardens are donated to charity, Just a Harvest. Future plans will grow a portion of the food to be served in Loyola's dining halls.
Project Vision: To reform the food system in our community and Chicago through urban agriculture, season extension and educational outreach.
Quinlan Life Sciences Building Balcony Garden
Launched in the spring of 2009, this garden grows an aesthetically pleasing mix of vegetables, flowers, and herbs. Currently there are eleven garden beds built by students and currently managed by students.
Winthrop Garden was launched in Fall 2010 on a previously unused 70' x 100' lot, with the design and development assistance of students. Today there is a small orchard planted by the student group Growers Guild and twenty raised beds with an array of vegetables and herbs.
- This garden utilizes low tunnel season extension strategies that allow the cultivation of crops beyond their traditional growing season.
- Three-bin and single-bin compost systems to provide necessary nutrients for both gardens.
Students researched the appropriate heirloom seeds and purchase seeds from Seed Savers Exchange. Students established management principles of aesthetics and companion planting, as well as considering the windy conditions and cool temperatures of our lakefront campus. In both of these steps, the students received guidance and advice from mentors, and experts in rooftop gardening, like Helen Cameron owner of Uncommon Ground Restaurant.
- Learned to overcome the challenges of growing food in three Midwest growing seasons in two different landscapes: a rooftop and ground-level campus lot
- Created long and short term vision for the Quinlan and Winthrop beds
- Practiced season extension techniques by planting seeds in a greenhouse and transferring seedlings outdoors