On-Campus Greenhouse is Built Though College and Community Partnership

February 4th, 2013 Posted in College News & Events
High tunnel greenhouse on the Auburn campus

High tunnel greenhouse on the Auburn campus

Local families and individuals will have increased access to fresh and nutritious produce, even during the winter months, thanks to the successful partnership between Cayuga Community College and the Cayuga/Seneca Community Action Agency. The agency provided funding through a hunger relief grant from the Walmart Foundation to build a high tunnel greenhouse on the College’s Auburn Campus, near the Thomas F. Steenburgh Nature Center.

College and community volunteers assist in growing cold-hardy vegetables in the high tunnel and harvesting them for distribution by the Calvary Food Pantry in Auburn. The high tunnel will also serve as a training site for project-based educational programs for interested faculty, students, staff, and community members who want to learn about season-extension techniques, drip irrigation, organic farming principles and practices, and sustainable methods of food production.

The idea for this community-College collaboration originated with Michael Pastore, the College’s registrar, as a culmination of his leadership training, interest in gardening, and passion for community building. Ground excavation and construction of the high tunnel occurred in November, led by the College’s Glenn Warner and CSCAA’s Steve Wright, and planting began in the first week of December with garlic and shallots, soon to be followed by other cold-hardy vegetables such as spinach, kale, beets, carrots, and lettuce.

Laurie Piccolo, executive director of the Cayuga/Seneca Community Action Agency shared, “In collaborating with the College on this project, we are better able to meet our mission of assisting people in achieving and sustaining self-sufficiency through direct services, education, and community partnerships.”

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