Community gardenƒ?TMs future in question

By Ari Ofsevit

As disruptive as the new athletic facility’s construction may be, Macalester athletes will have other places to go, from the Turck exercise room to local high schools and colleges. This will not be the case for the Macalester Urban Land and Community Health (MULCH) garden which, nestled against the current facility, will be obliterated by construction.

So far, there are no concrete plans for the garden, but MULCH gardeners have shared their input with administrators regarding the garden’s future plans.
“It’s been a little frustrating that they haven’t been all that clear with us,” Julia Eagles ’06 said.
“I don’t think its intentional, they just don’t know for sure.”

Eagles said moving the garden is more complicated that just selecting a new space, as the soil quality is very important to the success of the garden.

“We’ve established a little bit of infrastructure,” she said, “and invested a lot of work in that space which would be unfortunate to lose.”

In past seasons, Macalester’s food service has bought some fresh produce from the MULCH garden. Lori Hartzell, the General Manager of Café Mac, said that while MULCH doesn’t come close to feeding the whole campus, it is a great addition to Café Mac.

“They have been very wonderful to work with,” Hartzell said. “They deliver it over here several times a week and bring over whatever they have. We give them market price for whatever it is—potatoes, carrots or lettuce.”

Hartzell said she hopes that the garden will be able to continue to provide food to the cafeteria, possibly using space in an off-campus community garden.

Director of Facilities Management Mark Dickinson told The Mac Weekly last spring that there would be room on campus for the garden and that a better location could be found.

Last week, Dickinson said that the college has not yet made a decision about the future of the garden.