Queens College’s Family Nutrition and Exercise Science (FNES) Vegetable and Herb Garden has been a happy addition to the college for over the past decade. Managed and established by Food Management Studies Director and Professor Clare Consiglio, the garden carries a large array of vegetables and herbs.
What started out as a small piece of land between Razran and Remsen is now a 25 by 110 plot of land, in addition to a transformer that holds produce.
Professor Consiglio started the garden because she wanted students not only to watch and care for the garden and its produce, but be able to experience that same produce in the five-hour cooking lab classes FNES 101, FNES 203 and FNES 307W where everything would be prepared and eaten.
Many students never had the chance to grow produce before. Here at Queens College, they are able to reach a deeper understanding of produce and all that surrounds its growth.
As students became more aware of sustainability over the years, the garden was understood as a true “Farm to Table” experience. After nurturing the produce in the soil, recipes were made to accom- modate the produce growing in the garden to be later cooked in cooking lab.
The garden grows an assortment of produce. There is a mix of perennials, as well as the essentials mint, thyme and lemon balm. The garden also contains staples of tomatoes, peppers, various types of squash and string beans. There is a colorful strawberry patch too.
There is also a large compost bin that takes the leftover food scraps from cooking labs to be made into fertilizer, which continues the sustainability theme.
QC’s garden is a community garden as well, as it donates some of its produce to the Pomonok housing development across the street from the college. Some produce is also donated to the campus dining hall.
The next project for the garden is the addition of medicinal herbs. During this current internship year, the Dietetic Interns at QC have begun to research about and plant medicinal herbs. This pro- ject will continue with the next set of interns next semester.
“I couldn’t believe when I heard that Queens College had a garden that there was something so amazing to look at besides the campus with its amazing skylight view.” Jared Silverman Baer, a senior, said.
As mentioned in the QView, the QC garden was given the title of one of the best practices for college gardens, along with Ivy League school gardens upheld by Harvard and Princeton.
“It was fun to get the experience of growing your own food, and become closer to where your food actually comes from. The garden gives you a greater appreciation of where your food comes from and I am so happy that I was able to spend my time volunteering there,” Michael Persichilli, a junior, said.
Majoring in Nutrition and Dietetics, student Sahar Kosari has been managing the garden this past year. “I’ve seen the garden continue to expand significantly over the past few years and have always looked forward to helping out before class. The students and faculty have placed a tremendous amount of effort into maintaining it, so it’s extremely rewarding to see the hard work pay off at the end of each season,” Kosari said.
Any student at QC is able to volunteer, along with students that have a passion for gardening. Please contact Sahar Kosari for volunteer opportunities or questions about the garden at sahar. firstname.lastname@example.org