CDS Balcony Garden


In the spring of 2011, an ENVS 101 group and the CDS Recyclers proposed that garden boxes be placed along the balcony railing of Stevenson Dining Hall.


Background premise:

The goals of this project are to produce herbs for the dining hall locally and sustainably and to represent visually CDS’s efforts to be environmentally conscious. 21 boxes were constructed out of cedar harvested from an Ohio barn and installed on the outside of the balcony railing. A seasonal rotation of herbs such as basil, chives, parsley, and cilantro in the spring and summer will be alternated with a winter rye cover crop in the fall and winter.


Cost-benefit estimation:

The balcony garden reduces the campus dining service’s reliance on the industrial food system and reduces the carbon footprint of the meals produced in the dining halls. Over time, the cost of this $3,340 project will be made up in money saved from not purchasing herbs and other vegetables that are grown as the balcony garden expands.


Additional benefits:

These culinary herb boxes are highly visible, increasing students’ awareness of where food on campus is sourced.