Participatory presentation of EAT: Edible Academic Garden & Environmental Education
Pablo Tittonel will talk about the relevance of EAT in the WUR context and how to connect it to agroecology. This will be followed by an introduction of the EAT garden and concept by the intiators of EAT (Blair van Pelt and Jeroen Postma). Interested people can stay and join the participatory session through which ideas will be generated on what first steps to take.
EAT will be presented through the Wetenschap vanaf onderop series, which is facilitated by Boerengroep and Otherwise. We will present the project details and invite you to participate in the design and implementation of the project.
The intention to create such a project had been shared by many people at WUR, however, 2nd year MSc students Blair van Pelt (MOA) and Jeroen Postma (MIL) are putting the pieces and people together to make it happen. This is also made possible through the pledged support from the following organizations and chair groups: Beorengroep, Stichting RUW, Otherwise, Green Office Wageningen, Facilitair Bedrijf, Farming Systems Ecology and landscape Architecture.
The time and place for such a project couldn’t be better. After all, Wageningen is the life sciences university in the Netherlands and there is much talk about sustainability and agriculture. Furthermore, as stated in WUR’s 2011-2014 Strategic Plan, “Wageningen UR believes that it is important that its knowledge be applied in practice.” For this reason, EAT will be place where students and staff from different chair groups can come together and apply knowledge in practice through the edible academic garden.
The concept of academic gardening is not new, botanical gardens are commonplace at universities and gardens are prevalent in basic education. Currently there is an emerging trend for universities to connect the themes of sustainability and food production through a demonstration on their campuses. Washington State University, University of Massachusetts, and Cornell have notable examples of this on their campuses. After reviewing a few of these examples the following mission and vision for EAT is blossoming:
Mission: To cultivate an academic garden where the WUR community can learn about food production and sustainability in action by working collaboratively.
Vision: To be a world leader in innovative edible academic gardens
In order to better understand this movement and see what the site-specific opportunities are for EAT, an ACT project for period 2 has been commissioned by the recently established Green Office. The ACT group will be providing a comprehensive look at academic farm/gardens on university campuses in different parts of the world.
Concurrently the design for EAT is in full swing. The facilities department, the landscape architecture chair group (students and staff) and the project initiators are collaborating to create designs for two proposed locations of the garden. Once the two designs have been completed and turned into 2D and 3D formats they will be presented to the executive board and facilities department who will at that time, decide which location is more suitable for EAT.
On October 30th at 19:30 in C222 in the Forum the project will be presented through the Grassroots Science series, which is facilitated by members of Boerengroep and Otherwise. The purpose of the evening is to inform the WUR community about the details project and invite participation within the design and implementation phases of the project.