Saturday, Oct. 25 was the Fall Festival held by Knox College’s Community Garden Club, and co-sponsored by K.A.R.E.S. and the Eco House. This event was held to harvest the food grown in the garden and to bring more awareness of the garden to Knox.
“The community garden started a couple of years ago as a series of independent studies. They always had the problem of no one being here over the summer, so this is the first time we’ve successfully produced a garden full of food,” said Kathleen Beeson, a senior who tended the garden this past summer.
“The club started last spring. I did an independent study with four other girls about the garden, and at the end to keep it sustainable we made it a club,” said Helen Schnoes, the president of the Community Garden Club. “Since I was only a freshman last year we decided I could kind of spearhead it to have some continuity, so I’ve been working to keep it organized and make people aware of it.”
“For the fall festival we just all got together and talked about what we had and what we wanted to cook. Alex Lindberg talked to K.A.R.E.S. for us and they gave us money to get groceries for the fall festival, and we just led the activities on Saturday,” said Schnoes.
“The fall festival is the best way to get people aware that we have a community garden,” said Beeson. “We harvested all morning and pulled plants out to clear the ground to do a green mulch by throwing down rye grass to prepare for the winter. Another group went inside to cook while junior Jules Trachsel and I transplanted herbs and peppers to bring inside for the winter so people can have them fresh and all year, and in the spring they will be ready to go from the get go.”
The event also gave people an invitation to get to know the garden.
“I actually never worked in the community garden before, this was the first time. I helped pick the carrots from the garden and helped cook after that. We made pesto sauce with spaghetti, there was a hummus dip, there was chilli, there were beans, there were fresh carrots, there was a kale dish with walnuts, there was chard, we had herb butters, there were a lot of things,” said junior Samir Bakhshi.
“I thought it was pretty amazing how we could see a lot of people growing their own produce, and therefore it was pretty cool that we could sustain ourselves if we had a small plot of land. It was a really fun day, and it was nice to work with a lot of people. I would like to work in the garden more,” he said.
Many students and their families, along with a few professors, went to enjoy the event during family weekend.
“Altogether a lot of people came out. Throughout the day we probably had 50 or 60 people come out,” said Beeson.
“I think it went really well. The weather was great, the food was fantastic, and there were a lot of people who showed up who we weren’t expecting, and a lot of parents and grandparents. It made me very happy,” said senior Sam Bouman.
“It would be good for the rest of campus to hear about it to keep it going make it an annual event,” he said.
“I hope that people saw that it is something that can produce food and be a good point for which the Knox community can gather,” said Schnoes. “It was good because it went beyond the people usually involved. And, Helmut has agreed to take the extra produce and will be introducing it to the cafe to promote locally grown food.”
Beeson agreed, saying, “This garden always seems like a good idea but not enough goes into it to keep it going. Maybe this will motivate people to want to stay involved, so try to stay turned, because even in the winter we’re going to stay active with the garden.”
“I think the community garden is important now as it is, but I think it would increase in importance if it incorporated more community members who are not Knox students,” said Bouman.