Monday, October 18, 2010

I chose the Portland State Community Garden for my next place of interest at PSU. I decided to skip sculpture class yesterday and see if anyone was at the garden and luckily it paid off. Although nobody was working on the garden itself there was a group of about 6 students in the garden painting. I took the oppurtunity to talk to them and the teacher about their knowledge of the garden. The first woman I spoke to had always wanted to come to the garden but had not and was happy that she could with her painting class. She didn't know too much about it but suggested the recycling room to find out more. She also said one of the other girls in the class had a key but that the teacher would know more. The next girl seemed excited to see me as I walked up. After introductions I found out her name was Melissa. She was also just excited to be outside painting on such a great day. Melissa had been to the garden once before with a linguistics class where they were talking about how a garden is a good tool to help non native speakers learn a language. She thought that only students in the dorms could have a plot in the garden.
I spoke with the teacher who was really happy to have her class in the garden. She was looking for more places to have class outdoors and stumbled upon the garden and called the number. She said they were happy to have someone let her class in and she just had to lock up on the way out. She liked the garden because it had many layers and was good for teaching painting and she just liked the class to be outside on nice days. She also mentioned that the class was a painting class for non(art)majors. The next two people I talked to had also known about the garden but had never been there. One women was a social science major and the other was a Speech and Hearing sciences major. We then talked a little about her major and she told me the department is down in the basement of Nuberger and that they are friendly folks down there and I should stop by for a visit if I was interested. She said she chose that major because she was interested in music originally and wanted to go back to school and just got involved with sound which lead her to speech and hearing science. That is about all the time I had so I took a few pictures and took off.
Oh and here is the e-mail I got from Morgan... The community garden is on land that used to be a University housing building and a parking lot. We are student run, in affiliation with the Residence Hall Association, which is also where we get our funding from. Students tend individual plots within the garden, as well as working together to take care of the community areas. Each individual harvests the crops off of their own plot, and the produce from the community areas is shared equally throughout. We do have several work parties per term, where we love to have outside community members come in and work with us; in order to find out about these work parties, you can request to be put on our mailing list.
I would be glad to answer any other questions you might have regarding the garden!
Morgan Weber
PSU Community Garden Coordinator

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