Back in September of 2010, a garden blooming with an orchard, a vineyard, beehive, compost area, flowers and an outdoor classroom was a dream for assistant professor of English Kelly Allen and the East 40 Committee, comprised of students, faculty, and community members. Now, a few years of hard work has brought the garden to life on an undeveloped tract of land the College bought several years ago. East of Commonwealth Hall, on the property known as the "East 40," gardeners from the College and the larger community are coming together to experience service learning, sustainable gardening, ecological awareness, and healthy living.
During the warmer months of the year, students from all majors have a chance to apply what they have learned in the classroom to an environment outside of the classroom. NCC's Good Growers student club has been extremely active over the past several years, holding summer workdays and even camping out at the garden site while making plans for the garden's expansion.
The community can take part in helping to cultivate the garden by participating in a non-credit course. For a small fee and participation in a one-session class, gardeners will be assigned a 8-by-10- foot plot, with gardening equipment provided by the College.
"In the present political environment, in which discourse is neither positive nor welcoming, the garden is a positive, welcoming place for people of all backgrounds to gather in the pursuit of a common experience. This garden is a reflection of who we are at NCC," said Allen.
For more information about East 40 and how you can get involved, contact Kelly Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org.