About

Mission Statement 

The Princeton Garden project seeks to provide the Princeton Community  with an accessible, welcoming educational space in which to explore organic agriculture, food politics and sustainability through hands-on learning, experimentation, and dialogue.

What we Do

The Garden Project at Forbes College, a student initiative overseen by the Office of Sustainability in partnership with Forbes College, aims to provide a space of learning, experimentation and collaboration in which students can think through issues of food politics, sustainability, health and the environment. We seek to provoke thought and discussion about food systems and their implications for the environment, health and nutrition, culture and the future by modeling sustainable food production and providing fresh, organic, chemical-free produce of the Forbes Dining Hall, the campus Farmers’ Market, local vendors and special campus events. We also hopes to provide a “magic” space accessible to the University community for meetings, socializing, relaxing and hosting sustainability-related events.

Sustainability

Agriculture continues to be a leading source of negative environmental impact.  Overuse of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizer is compounded by soil leaching to create chemical runoff that contaminates water bodies.  In addition, the petroleum from which conventional agriculture chemicals are based also transports the average meal an estimated 1,500 miles.  Our dependence on fuel for food production contributes to pollution, loss of biodiversity and climate change.  Eating foods that are sprayed with chemicals, harvested before natural ripeness and transported thousands of miles affects ecological, social and economic systems in ways that are not immediately evident or well understood by the majority of the population.  The Garden Project does not seek to fulfill the gastronomic needs of the campus at large, although it regularly provides Forbes with herbs and salad bar vegetables and inspires special dinners, study breaks and student events.  Rather, the Garden Project offers the opportunity for students to learn about the diversity of local crops and crop varieties and to cultivate an appreciation for the time, effort and resources needed to produce what we eat.

Education

The garden connects with the rest of campus through its ties with the Office of Sustainability, Forbes College, Greening Princeton, Slow Food Princeton, the Princeton Environmental Network, the campus Farmers’ Market and academic departments.  Last fall, the Garden Project held biweekly harvests for the Forbes Dining Hall, Farmers’ Market cooking demonstrations and the local artisan ice cream shop, Bent Spoon, on Monday afternoons, Wednesday mornings as well as weekly work days on Friday afternoons.  The 79 Alexander Street Garden also hosted a student harvest dinner with Slow Food Princeton and a Sustainability Lecture Dinner with Sherry Dudas of Honey Brook Organic Farm as well as with Nomad Pizza Company.  The Garden Project also donated produce for several special dinners at the request of Dining Services. We seek to reach out to the community through engaging and enjoyable events, volunteer engagement and collaboration with other campus initiatives. Our vision of the garden is that of an educational space–a site of student experimentation, active learning and an opportunity for making mistakes, overcoming challenges and (quite literally!) getting our hands dirty.


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