Johnson House Garden

Students Working in the Garden

In the Spring of 2010, the Green EDGE Fund provided start-up funds for a student-run garden behind a residence hall on campus, providing a unique educational opportunity for Oberlin students. The garden's produce goes to dining halls and coops.

round premise:

Many Oberlin students are concerned with the environmental, health, social and economic implications of the industrialized food system and have expressed a strong desire for an alternative way to feed themselves. 

A student-managed orchard and food garden will provide ample opportunities for students to 

grow their food, and serve to it to each other in campus dining halls. Produce grown at the Johnson House site will be sold to Bon Appétit 

and served in the campus dining halls. Food waste from the kitchens will be used in the garden’s compost, creating a sustainable cycle between the garden and campus dining halls.

Cost-benefit estimation:
An on-campus garden provides many tangible benefits such as food that has traveled fewer miles and thus used fewer resources in its trip from the soil. The garden uses compost generated on campus, both preventing food and yard waste from going to a landfill and making it unnecessary to purchase chemical fertilizers. The garden also plans to harvest rainwater onsite, reducing dependence on city water.

Additional benefits:

The Johnson House Subcommittee of OGROW has a comprehensive plan to involve as many interested parties as possible and simultaneously maintain clarity of direction and purpose. 

Educational components include a Student Garden Manager, a Student Garden Assisistant Manager, an ExCo Course, ENVS101 Group Projects, potential research projects through the Biology Department and other Environmental Studies courses, volunteer days, and working with Evelyn Bryant, Marco Wilkinson, and David Benzing.