community garden flourishing
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An ‘Urban Garden’ Takes Root on Campus

A small patch of fertile ground grows fresh vegetables for the Red Hawk Pantry

Posted in: In the Community

Brittany Portes in the Campus Community Garden
Brittney Portes, the lead gardener for Montclair State University’s community garden, harvests crops. She encourages intensive growing methods, often seen in urban agriculture, to grow as much food as possible, and as sustainably and organically as possible, in the small space.

The first thing Brittney Portes does in the mornings when she opens the gates to the University’s community garden, is check on the vegetables, and the bunnies. She discovered a nest this summer and despite how they nibble on lettuce, “I don’t have the heart to remove them,” she says.

Luckily there’s plenty to go around. The garden at Montclair State University is flourishing. Zucchinis, corn, carrots and beets. Tomatoes, cucumbers, okra and squash – most of the harvest is donated to the Red Hawk Pantry. “There are so many different fun options in the garden right now,” Portes says.

Portes is the lead gardener of the community plots, a green space tucked behind the Student Center and run by the PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies (PSEG ISS). A plastic owl stands guard to scare away birds, and sunflowers stand 10 feet tall. It’s a labor of love for about 100 Montclair staff, faculty and students, and over summer break, campers from inner-cities who pitched in planting, tending and harvesting.

Read the full article on the University News site.