The Girard College Community Kauffman Garden was dedicated to Girard College in 2011. After a few years of inactivity, the garden was revitalized in 2015 with help from Greener Partners and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s City Harvest Program. In the fall of 2015, the Girard College Community Garden Committee was formed to provide a vision for the garden.
The garden includes 20 plots managed by student interns, 5 community plots managed by members of the GC community, a 3-tier composting bin, 4 newly planted fruit trees, and an herb garden. Over the course of 6 months (between May 2016-October 2016), the garden produced over 1,600 pounds of produce. The garden produced the following: okra, hot and sweet peppers, eggplant, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, lettuce, scallions, garlic, beets, carrots, bok choy, tatsoi, arugula, rosemary, dill, basil, mint, cucumber, and squash.
All produce that was harvested was given to Dining Services, where it was incorporated into school meals. Any unused produce was then sold to the Girard College community as a garden fundraiser. Any unsold produce was then donated to the Guild House, an apartment complex for low-income seniors in North Philadelphia.
In the summer, the garden is maintained by an extraordinary team of Girard College students. In the past, students have attended workshops via the PHS Urban Agriculture Program and Urbanstead. The students learned about garden pest and disease control, container gardening, plant propagation, and seed saving.
The Summer Garden Interns also work with incoming 9th graders during the Summer Bridge Program to introduce them to the garden. These workshops covered garden tool safety, harvesting, and planting.
Through a partnership with Greener Partners, urban agriculture and sustainable food systems was incorporated in the Extended Day Program as a program offering for elementary, middle and high schools students.
The Garden-to-Table Program is a campus initiative to distribute discounted produce directly from our garden to friends, family and staff of Girard College. The Garden-to-Table Program raised over $250 within five weeks. The proceeds go to pay for student stipends and garden supplies.
In 2017, we released the Girard College Community Garden cookbook. The goal of this cookbook is to raise awareness for the garden, inform community about ways to use produce, raise money and ultimately highlight great cooks on campus. This cookbook is comprised of recipes from our GC family. By making this a community effort we hope to help gain more viewpoints on ways to cook different foods, highlight the diversity of cuisines, offer more variety to consumers, get buy-in from the community and preserve family recipes.
If you are interested in volunteering in the garden or donating supplies please contact Monet Anderson.