Like Portlanders everywhere, students on this campus are lining up for anything sustainable. We want our campus to have recycling bins, we have a vegan café in the basement of Smith Memorial Student Union and Stephen Epler Residence Hall uses rainwater for its toilets
Like Portlanders everywhere, students on this campus are lining up for anything sustainable.
We want our campus to have recycling bins, we have a vegan café in the basement of Smith Memorial Student Union and Stephen Epler Residence Hall uses rainwater for its toilets. I’m sure we could keep going, but you get the point already.
Sustainability is great. And nothing is more sustainable than a garden. A garden can guarantee that you have 100 percent organic food, and it ensures that your food is fresh and that your food source is sustainable—at least as sustainable as you make it.
So, the question comes to mind: Why don’t more Portland State students have gardens?
The answer is probably that you don’t have the time, skills or the real estate. All three are valid excuses—and they are definitely excuses and not reasons. But the average Portland State student can overcome all three.
I’m not saying everyone should grow enough food to eat year round. That would be absolutely ludicrous to suggest. What I am saying is that everyone could grow something to eat at least while it is in season.
And while you may question the feasibility of this for spatial reasons, there are options for students living in nearly every housing situation.
If you live in a dorm or an apartment, you could set up an herb garden on your windowsill. If you live in a house, you probably have a yard or flowerbed of some type you could use. And if you don’t, you could simply use a pot with some top soil and grow herbs. My personal favorite is mint—fresh mojitos anyone?
Portland State’s sustainability department also features a community garden, which is located on the corner of 12th Ave. and Montgomery St. The garden boasts 70 beds, and is run by PSU’s Residence Housing Association. Students who live on campus are able to use the garden and pay for the materials that the garden uses. For more information email [email protected].
Some benefits of growing your own food include avoidance of polluting water runoff, assuming you don’t use pesticides or fungicides, and some people report feeling like they accomplished something good while enjoying the experience of watching their garden grow. Also, it saves some money, but obviously how much you save depends largely on how much you grow.
If you don’t know how to grow your own food, it’s surprisingly easy to find out—many seeds that come in packets have directions on the back, and if they don’t, you could always ask the clerk who sold them to you as there is a good chance that he or she is at least knowledgeable on the subject. And if all else fails, www.google.com can provide a lot of the answers.
So really growing your own garden is something every single person on campus could do at least to some extent. Most of us probably could not grow enough food to last us an entire year, but most of us could grow small amounts and enjoy the precious commodities that Mother Nature offers.
Stop making excuses because you really don’t have any, we are all capable of growing something. So why aren’t we?