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.
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.