Wageningen Campus is getting a garden. Campus users can help to set it up, starting with the sowing of flowers. The garden is located at the campus entrance next to the Dijkgraaf flat.
The project sprouted from the idea for an edible academic garden (EAT), says Blair van Pelt. Three years ago, when she was still a student, Van Pelt initiated the idea of an edible garden on campus. Now she is hired by Wageningen UR’s facility services to implement the starting phase of what is now called The Field. Whether The Field is indeed going to be a vegetable garden depends on Wageningen UR’s students and staff. ‘It is a multifunctional field, meant for education, demonstration, experimentation and training. It is a space where the Wageningen Campus users can implement ground-bound informative and innovative projects, whatever the community wants.’
The first time students and staff can work in the garden is on Friday 14 August. ‘Everybody is invited to help us sow a bed of indigenous flower seeds’, says Van Pelt. ‘The field, on the west entrance of the campus, has been a construction site for a year, so the soil is disturbed. That’s why, two weeks ago, indigenous flower seeds were sown in the middle of the field. Next week we’ll do the sides, hopefully with a lot of enthusiastic people.’
About a hundred apple trees of many different varieties will be planted in 2016. This won’t cover the whole area of one hectare. There is space for other projects too. ‘Groups of people that would like to do a project in the garden can contact me with their ideas’, says Van Pelt.
Currently, there is a limited initial materials budget, which will be used for seeds, plants and simple infrastructure. ‘Eventually I would love there to be a tool library, but that is not my first priority. My focus is now on getting the site open, letting people know about it and inviting them to start a project in The Field, and getting it to manifest into a beautiful garden.’