By Samantha Plumey – 1851 Staff
After years of discussion, Lasell’s newest project will be planted: the intergenerational community garden.
The garden will be easily accessible behind Pickard house on Maple Street and site preparations for the garden begin soon. Mineral rich, fertile soil will be trucked in before the first snowfall and planting is expected to begin in the spring.
Professor Aaron Toffler, Director of the Environmental Studies Program, and Aisha Thomas, Lead Teacher at The Barn, have similar expectations for the project.
“The whole thought behind the garden is to have the Lasell students, the Lasell Village [residents], and obviously the barn children work together,” said Thomas.
The three different age groups will engage in building and maintaining the garden together.
“I am hoping that it will raise awareness of food issues, both access to healthy food and even just getting a better understanding of where our food comes from,” said Toffler. He believes the garden will be an effective example for students at The Barn and within the college.
Initially, the food grown will go to The Barn, whose pre-existing curriculum includes the seed germination process. The project wil expand by having the children eat what they grow. The children will have a tangible product of their project, thus gaining a better understanding of the life cycle of a plant.
The garden will be utilized in various departments at Lasell. “We’re hoping to get Environmental Studies majors involved and maybe Education majors writing curriculum
around plant and plant growth,” said Toffler. “There are a lot of things you can do with a garden to use it as a teaching tool.”
The products of the garden will positively impact the entire Lasell community. The garden could produce food to be used in Valentine Dining Hall, and surplus goods could be sold at the farmer’s market at the Village.
“If it works and it develops into something big and sustainable it may be a vehicle for improving relations within the community,” said Toffler.