Growing Food Organically Integral to Pitzer College’s Commitment to Environmentalism
Claremont, Calif. (November 2, 2006) – Pitzer College is celebrating the expansion of its organic garden and the donation and delivery of ten tons of compost with a special community gardening day on Saturday, November 11. The garden expansion will facilitate increased production of organic food to be donated to community events, the Grove House café, and the student cafeteria. The new section will provide communal growing areas as well as individual plots, which campus staff and other community members can use to grow food for their families. To improve the quality of the soil in the organic garden, Pitzer College sophomore Adam Forbes submitted a proposal on behalf of Pitzer College to Vons’s Refuse & Recycling Manager, Curt Smith, to secure the fruit, vegetable and green waste compost.
“VONS annually recycles nearly 100,000 tons of waste material in an effort to preserve valuable landfill space and improve the quality of the environment,” Smith says. He continues, “I was impressed by the Pitzer student’s explanation of how the students get together biweekly and establish work parties in their garden.” VONS partners with Community Recycling who funds the transport of the compost. Smith says that VONS recycle the produce from all of their stores and donates it to various non-profit organizations to encourage recycling in communities. VONS was the first supermarket to begin this practice in 1994, which has grown to approximately 1000 supermarkets from several nationwide chains.
“Pitzer’s keen interest in environmentalism and sustainability represent an important core value of the College and is not just a result of the current trend. Students at Pitzer frequently take the initiative to make an impact on social, environmental and civic issues,” Pitzer College President Laura Skandera Trombley explains.
Forbes and Tim Van Wagner, active managers of the organic farm, view the Pitzer organic garden as a place where knowledge and action drive positive change. “Through our efforts to produce local organic food, we are working to ensure the health of our environment for those living now and those to come. The food we produce and space we create is integral to a healthy lifestyle and the creation of a sustainable community.”
The special work day in Pitzer’s organic garden will take place from 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on November 11. Lunch and live music by The Sugar Mountain Mama Serenade from 12-2 p.m. will be provided to volunteers courtesy of the Pitzer College Eco Center and Grove House Cafe.