Fall 2010

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Campus Life

Purple Thumbs

Northwestern students can now munch on Earth-friendly veggies from Wild Roots, the new organic garden on campus.

Representatives from several student environmental groups started Wild Roots to improve Northwestern’s food consumption sustainability. The idea grew, in part, from the 2009–10 One Book One Northwestern project, which focused on the book Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman (H05).

purple thumb

Ann Ziegelmaier, Northwestern’s landscape architect, played an integral role in helping the students decide what they would plant and where they could do it. Vegetables and flowers include arugula, artichokes, asparagus, watermelon, strawberries, tomatoes, purple potatoes, sugar snap peas, peppers, calendula and dianthus. Everything in the garden is edible.

purple thumb

Wild Roots members say Norris University Center will carry the produce in the downstairs food court, and they’ll use the fresh veggies to promote smart eating. The 700-square-foot garden, located on Norris’ South Lawn, includes raised beds built on the concrete top of an elevator shaft. The garden produced its first harvest — spinach and lettuce and several types of herbs — in early spring.

To see how the group — and the plants — are growing, check out nuwildroots.wordpress.com.