Profile in Sustainability: Ellie’s Garden

Ellie’s Garden| Clara Pierone

I sat down with Clara Pierone, president of Ellie’s Garden, located in Eleanor Roosevelt College. 

Can you give a brief description on Ellie’s Garden and what the organization does?  

Ellie’s garden is a club that tends to three plots in ERC. We plant foods and flowers and all types of plants, and we also do composting. We get coffee grounds and food scraps from students and events! We also really encourage the community to take what we grow. 

How is your organization involved in the sustainability community? 

For, one we promote growing your own food, and eating food directly from the ground, trying to educate people for healthier and more sustainable eating. We promote composting, and lend compost bins to students. We also are known to do a lot of tree plantings which are good for our planet!

Does Ellie’s Garden have any specific goals for the 2019-2020 school year?

I think we are really interested in getting more students composting. We’d really like to get a solid bin loaning program operating and a more educational program to get as many people do do it as possible. That’s definitely a goal this year. We are hoping to get another fourth plot and turn it into something beautiful, like maybe a butterfly garden! 

Do you have any advice for how an individual on campus can contribute to sustainability?

Definitely being aware of where your food is coming from and reducing packaging and being aware of campus resources, like Ellie’s Garden. Be aware of what can and can’t be composted!

How could someone get involved in Ellie’s Garden?

It’s so easy! Show up and garden wit us anytime. We have gardening sessions Sat 12:30-2:30, and Wednesday 10am-11am between Africa and Asia halls. You can come and go as you please! Not a large commitment to be a member. We also love to take people’s requests for things to plant, especially if it will be eaten. 

Is there anything you’d want people to know? 

There are so many places which promote sustainability who are happy to talk to people! We’d love to talk to you about sustainability.  The resources are there, you just need to take advantage of it. 

How could you start composting at home? 

Get a bin, you can get a bin from us or you can use your own. We just don’t take milk and meat products, but we take eggshells, onion skins, other produce scraps, stems, coffee grounds and tea bags. Empty it when it starts to get full. Compost bins are between Europe Hall and North America hall. I will add that we have been getting a lot of composting bags, but they take a much longer time to degrade than their food. It is important to note that plastic can’t be composted! People still don’t get that sometimes. Although, paper can be composted, and compostable containers, like the ones that come from the Food Co-op can go into the compost! Compost is basically green stuff, brown stuff, water, oxygen, and little bugs! 

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