by Emily Leeson
With a mandate to promote and support local farms by educating Acadia and the public on the importance of purchasing locally grown foods, the Fork and Farm Club isn’t wasting a moment of time. This winter, Acadia students from the club will be growing herbs and vegetables in the greenhouse at the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre.
The activities of the group are varied, but this represents their biggest endeavor so far. Says, Shelby Farmer, Club President, “We are experimenting with indoor grown vegetables. We began the process by germinating seeds in the Propagation room in the KCIC for about two weeks, then we transplanted the seedlings into bins in the KCIC where they are now growing. We are experimenting with which vegetables grow best with what. For example, do tomatoes grow better with basil or beans? We are also using a fish-based fertilizer to see how it impacts the growth of the plants.”
While experimenting with different varieties including beans, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and a range of herbs including basil, parsley and dill, the club hopes to find out what will grow best in a winter greenhouse in Nova Scotia. It’s all going well so far. “I checked on the plants today and the tomato and jalapeño plants are about a foot tall now and are doing great! Once they are too big for the greenhouse, we will be transplanting them to the Acadia Farm,” Farmer confirms.
Looking towards the year ahead, the club has big plans for their harvest and their events. “We have plans for further events such as hosting a pickling party, a workshop on how to preserve vegetables in jars, a presentation called “An Introduction to Gardening”, and garlic harvesting,” says Farmer. “We also plan to give the vegetables grown in the KCIC to the Food Bank, but that is dependent on how much we harvest.”
The public is encouraged to stop by the greenhouses to see what’s growing. For more information on the Acadia Farm, visit their website at acadiafarm.org