Macdonald Student-Run Ecological Gardens 3 (SP0071)
At the Macdonald campus of McGill University a student-led initiative is bringing forth ecological agriculture into its food system, curriculums, internship opportunities and its social sphere.
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With the support of McGill professors and staff, local organic farmers, and student volunteers, the Macdonald Student-run Ecological Gardens (MSEG) has grown into a 1 1/4 acre ecological vegetable farm, creating student opportunities for volunteering, internships and employment. Each year brings new members and therefore new interests and backgrounds, making MSEG a rich, diverse project.
This builds our repertoire of information, increasing its scope and depth. Using the records, future generations of the project can assess ecological impact, economic feasibility and social involvement. Many of this year’s members have used this experience as a launchpad for their own future farm businesses. The project is being integrated into classwork at various degrees; ranging from a 45 minute lecture to an entire course dedicated to its advancement. Student classwork ameliorated this year’s field practices, allowing to increase MSEG’s production, while matching harvests more closely to market demands. Indeed, more rigorous planning and commitment was needed to fulfill a 20+ full-season basket program and to provide food to the Dietetics’ summer cafe; developing alternatives in Macdonald Campus’ food system.