Sustainable Growing in Practice
Healthy food is a fundamental right, and farming sustainably is key to a healthy planet. The permaculture garden at BSU is an example of both. It is located on campus near Miles and DiNardo residence halls. The food we produce in this garden is meant for BSU students and community members. Please pick and enjoy in-season, and think about what it means to eat — and live — sustainably.
Permaculture (a merger of the words permanent and agriculture) is a framework for rethinking the many ways we connect to our environment. It is a symbiotic relationship between people and plants. If we take care of the Earth, it will take care of us. Permaculture gardening focuses on how the food we eat shapes the sustainability of our land, water and communities. It involves sustainable and responsible growing and cultivating practices.
Three Sisters Wampanoag Garden
The Three Sisters garden is a traditional Native American farming technique that combines the qualities of different plants (corn, beans and squash) to provide complete nutrition and sustain soil fertility. Learn more about Wampanoag planting at the Plimoth and Patuxet Museum site.
Cover Crops and Soil Health
Cover crops — like buckwheat, clover and field peas — are important for the health of the garden. They suppress weeds, prevent erosion, pull CO2 from the air, and provide food for pollinators. We fertilized with herring and planted corn, beans and squash in and around the mounds. We use recycled material and compost to build healthy soil and grow plants in a manner that requires few resources and produces minimal waste.
The garden was the result of a collaboration between the Center for Sustainability, the Student Government Association, the BSU Food Bank and Facilities Management and Planning. Discussions began in the fall of 2015; in December, students, faculty and staff gathered to turn two ornamental flower beds into organic gardens.
The weather station at the Garden was installed in early June 2016. This station had recorded the temperature every hour since June 19, 2016 and provided some real-time data and pictures of the garden through the year.
Thanks to the university and its staff, the third bed was granted for garden use! Strawberries were planted in the new garden along with a variety of plants from which natural dyes can be made.
A micro-barn (shed) was set up for garden storage in spring 2019. It’s made from locally harvested white pine. Dog bowls had been donated to the garden in 2019.
An herb spiral had been built in the garden nearest to the train stop. Parsley, a variety of types of basil, and a few other herbs had been planted here for you to discover.
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, nothing can stop our efforts in connecting us with nature. It was our first time hosting the garlic planting event on Zoom.