Campus Gardens History

Excerpt from a 2009 Website post:

The garden was started in 2007 by a small group of intrepid students. Given two small plots each comprising 1,000 square feet of steeply-graded, clay-based soil, these students began the arduous process of transforming the land into a fertile garden. Since these initial days, the Campus Garden has truly flourished under the care of William and Mary’s dedicated student group, Farmers and Gardeners. Following the first successful summer growing season, the 2008-2009 school year has seen the garden progress in leaps and bounds. To maintain the garden plot and enrich the soil, the garden was placed under an oats cover crop for the winter. Once the weather started to warm, Farmers and Gardeners undertook its first major project of the year– the building of retention walls to create a raised bed structure in the upper plot. Having completed this, the garden is currently being prepared for spring planting.The William and Mary Campus Garden has a mission of sustainability and community-building through innovative strategies. Our growing practices include a focus on organic inputs, and implementation of alternative horticultural methods such as crop rotation and cover crop sowing. Farmers and Gardeners utilizes both direct-seeding and seedling germination and direct-planting techniques. Seedling germination is undertaken at the Campus Greenhouse located in Millington Hall, and seedlings include a wide variety of storage-ready produce.Farmers and Gardeners emphasizes the need to support local economy and maintain biodiversity in our food system, and supports this by planting locally-sourced, heirloom varietals. The 2008-2009 Campus Garden plan includes such heirloom produce as Yellow Ebenezer Onions, Chioggia Beets, and Amish Snap Peas. Storage-ready produce grown in the garden will be donated to FISH, a local food bank. Our garden is a learning garden. Farmers and Gardeners is committed to cultivating a love and appreciation of horticulture amongst the members of the William and Mary campus community as well as the residents of the surrounding community of Williamsburg/James City County.