MULCH rebuilds, reorganizes after move

By Colleen Good

All but the first-years will remember the large MULCH garden that used to sit just outside the Field -house. Since construction has begun on the MARC, the garden has moved to two more modest locations, with beds on both sides of the German house. Sarah Claassen ’08 is an active member of MULCH, and helped with the move. With the new beds, there has been “a lot less space, and fairly less sun. It’s been a challenge,” she said.

“Last year was an experiment, and this year we’ll take what we’ve learned and go,” Claassen said.

“We’re not at a stage where we can sell to Café Mac like in the past,” she said. “Bon Apetit has been very supportive of us, but we aren’t at a reliable or big enough scale for that.”

They had known about the move once the plans were made up for the MARC, Claassen said. “They were pretty good working with us to figure out where to move,” she said. They knew they had to be out by the end of last spring, she said, and worked with Facilities Management and the Grounds Department to secure a location.

The MULCH garden had been just outside the Fieldhouse for about ten years, Claassen said. “It’s changed a lot over the years. [It has] gotten bigger.”

Claassen has been involved in MULCH for all four of her years at Macalester. “It’s a cool organization because I think I see the goal as teaching people to grow food. It’s a cool time to go out and garden with people. It’s a change of pace, and you get to hang out with really fun people.”

In the winter, they try to bring in speakers and host events, she said.

One event planned for this spring is a composting skill share, which will take place soon after Earth Week. In addition, later this spring MULCH will serve as a stop in the Alley Cat Race hosted by Mac Bike.

At the end of the semester, MULCH will hold their annual spring picnic. It will take place once the plants are in the ground. During the potluck, members will “play in the garden a bit,” Claassen said.

“The trouble with gardening here,” Claassen said, “[is that] we really get going when everyone leaves.