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Macdonald Student-Run Ecological Gardens 3 (SP0071)

Status: COMPLETED Summer 2012

The McGill Student-run Ecological Gardens (MSEG) is a student-initiated and student-run group dedicated to ecological agriculture. MSEG’s vision is to feed academic investigation into ecological agriculture by cultivating land for sustainable vegetable production on university grounds. MSEG is committed to connecting and helping groups that work towards local and sustainable food sourcing for McGill and Macdonald food systems. By bringing together students, staff, and members of the community through workshops, market stands, education, and employment opportunities, MSEG strives to become a living laboratory for ecological food systems and practices.

During the 2012 operational year, the MSEG baskets contained 10-12 generous portions of different vegetables each week and great newsletter featuring pertinent recipes. Additionally, they initiated an alternative to Frosh Week linked to the annual harvest. This initiative was a financial success, resulting in a reasonable financial buffer to start the 2013 year. The emphasis of the 2013 season of the MSEG was on improving the quality of how they deliver produce, education opportunities, and to further economic self-sustainability.

In this third season, resources from the SPF were used to: purchase field and educational materials as well as provide salaries for both full and part-time farm employees, and a full time educating coordinator. 

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Since its inception in 2008, The McGill Student-run Ecological Gardens (MSEG) has been a student-initiated and student-run group dedicated to ecological agriculture. MSEG’s vision is to feed academic investigation into ecological agriculture by cultivating land for sustainable vegetable production on university grounds. The group is committed to connecting and helping groups that work towards local and sustainable food sourcing for McGill and Macdonald food systems. By bringing together students, staff, and members of the community through workshops, market stands, education and employment opportunities, MSEG strives to become a living laboratory for ecological food systems and practices. 

The mission of the group is multifaceted: 1) fulfilling a crop-based business plan with proper marketing and sales methods; 2) spreading awareness of and education on sustainable agricultural practices; 3) building the framework for the project to become self-sufficient in the long-term; 4) providing a local alternative food service at both the MacDonald and Downtown Campuses during the summer and academic year 5) continuing to diversify by introducing poultry (eggs) and herbs into the production system. 

The MSEG operations began with a ½ acre plot at  Macdonald  Horticulture centre and four 17 m2 plots in the Macdonald community garden next to the Macdonald Eco-Residence. Now the operations take place on a  ½ acre of land at the  Macdonald campus farm,  and one acre in a field 9BELONGING TO THE Mac campus Farm) in the  Morgan Arboretum – specifically leased for student cultivation and shared with les Jardins Carya and Ferme Zephyr. MSEG has three high tunnels which were funded by donations  in the summer of 2014. Generally, the MSEG has a team of 6-10 student employees and a team of volunteers running its operations. 

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Group

Macdonald Student-Run Ecological Gardens

Contact

McGill Student-run Ecological Gardens

Members

caroline [dot] begg [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Caroline Begg)                                                        

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