1. Creating a Garden at IES
Table of contents
The goal of this project would be to make a garden here at IES by growing vegetables for students, and therefore being more sustainable with organic foods. There is already a small garden on the terrace, and by adding herbs it, students in the Sustainability Club could learn the advantages of growing their own crops and using them for food. Equipped with a pot and soil, students could plant their younglings and grow their own food.
This action would result in a more sustainable environment because it removes the action of having to ship the food to different locations and therefore it drastically cuts down on the energy and pollution produced when shipping food. Eating organic food is more sustainable for the environment, but also healthier, which could appeal to students. If the club is successful in growing many plants, they could look into the possibility of installing an outdoor cover and watering system (which can be expensive, so it is unlikely in the near future). However, if installed, the plants would not be as subjected to the weather, students could grow a variety of other plants such as vegetables and winter plants.
Change in attitudes
Reducing dependency on the middle man
Decreasing the ecological and water footprints
Long term effects
"Cradle to cradle" design (waste = food)
1.2.1. Potential Benefits
Many students, here at IES and when the return back to their universities, live in apartments and do their own shopping and cooking. By learning how to grow their own herbs, they may be more inclined to cook using other organic and locally grown products, supporting the LOIS business model. By having a terrace garden, the attitudes in students would change for they could realize the benefits of growing their own herbs and citrus plants over purchasing them shipped from afar. This also reduces the dependancy on the middle man (in most cases the supermarket.) Growing your own products decreases the amount of energy and pollution used to normally ship the goods, and as a result the ecological and water footprints are lowered.
Many vegetation sites are being destroyed each year which results in less oxygen being produced by plant life. These plants would contribute more oxygen into the atmosphere (however small that percentage may be), and a greater amount in the long term if the number of plants on the terrace increases. Since the lemons and clementines on the terrace can be eaten by the students, there could be a small compost dish placed outside to deposit the skin in. The pile could then be used for the soil of the plants, turning waste of one plant into food for another.
1.2.2. Potential Costs
The financial costs of maintaining the garden are that of the seeds/young plants, soil and if larger troughs are later needed to account for the expanding growth and number of plants. Young herb plants and their pots are not particularly expensive. The time spent by the students planting and caring for the herbs should not be as difficult if the plants are purchased as younglings already starting to grow. A major threat to the garden is the weather, for if it is too hot/cold/rainy/dry then the plants may die. Fortunately, the weather is not as extreme in Barcelona as in other places.
The following herbs were chosen because of their easy and multi-purpose uses, and because maintaining them should not be that difficult. Many herbs grow best in the warm Mediterranean climate, which makes IES a prime location. The of the Perennial plants can be used for the following:
-Lavender (Espígol): Good for digestion and nerves, purifies the environment when kept indoors in a dried bag
-Parsley (Julivert): Food garnish
-Mint (Menta): Helps with digestion problems, excellent food seasoning
-Oregano (Orenga): Gives flavor to meat, good for digestive difficulties
-Rosemary (Romaní): Culinary seasoning, can be used as an infusion/aide for rheumatism
(Guia de Jardineria sostenible 25).
All of the herbs are Perennial so they will survive for much longer than annual plants, which die at the end of every season. For the plants to survive, it is critical that the are not over or under watered. If the weather has been dry more water may be necessary; if it has been rainy then water less. If it is too wet or windy the plants may need to be covered with a light plastic tarp.
There are already lemon, clementine and lime trees located on the terrance, which have done well in the weather and do not require much care. Yet if they grow quite a bit, new pots may have to be bought to account for their new size.
Requires full sun, rich soil, and must be well watered. It is best to buy plants that are young from a nursery or store for they grow quickly, will be ready for use sooner, and seedlings must be grown indoors for two months, so they will be ready for implementation upon purchase. When the seedlings come up, discard all but the healthiest one. Once the plant has reached 8 inches in height it can be cut for use. The plant can survive in winter as well as the warm season (Growing parsley in your herb garden). Use the leaves when they are still fresh and cut the stems instead of pulling the plant out (Guia de Jardineria sostenible 25).
Grows best in warm, well-drained soil and full sun. Do not plant in too large of a pot, put an inch of loose gravel at the bottom, and keep well watered during the first growing season. Dampness, not cold, is it's biggest threat (Iannotti, Marie).
Plant it in the early spring, and place each plant alone and one foot from another since it spreads easily. Use slightly moist soil and place in a partially shady area. Water intermittently in the beginning, and then it will not require much when they start growing well (Grosvenor, Carrie).
Place in full sun, and it does not need much water unless it is dry. USe vegetable potting soil and can also use a bit of rotted compost. Like parsley, the seedlings have to be indoors for one month so it is best to buy young plants. They must be brought outside gradually so move from shade into the sun day by day (Gardening Advice: Instruction for Growing Oregano, How to Grow Oregano in Your Herb Garden).
It is best to buy as a young plant since growing from a seed is quite difficult. Place the youngling in a small, well-drained pot and in full sun. Water regularly, but sparingly (Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)).
As a chore and incentive, student(s) from the Sustainability Club could care for the plants on the terrace. The more plants they care for (there won't be that many at first) and the time that they spend could determine the number of EcoEuros they receive. After planting is completed (which could be 5 EcoEuros per species since it requires the most work) they could receive 1 EcoEuro per watering session. This would be monitored by a sign in-out sheet and at the end of the month or week (determined by the club who will figure out when EE distribution occurs) then they could collect their EcoEuros, applying them to a bag, trip, etc.
The herbs and fruit grown on the terrace can be open to the entire IES population if the club deems it alright. Allowing other students and members of the faculty access to the terrace, they may decide to shop and eat more organically. Also, faculty may be encouraged to bring in a small part of their own plants to be grown on the terrace as well.
The table for the Student Sign-In/Out page for caring for the Terrace Garden, as well as the table for taking plants is saved as the following:
[http://| SCgarden.docx ]
Pots were purchased by a prior group for the terrace, so at the beginning of next semester the new plants will need to be purchased. The younglings were not bought at this time for IES is closed for the next month, faculty is busy during the holidays, and the plants should not be brought outside (where it is necessary for them to grow) until February. Any early and it will likely be too cold for many of the plants to first be exposed to the outdoors.
A prior group began the terrace garden (with pots, small plants and citrus trees) in a previous semester, yet that group's work was not referenced in this project.
1.4. References & Links
Addresses and contact information for nurseries and garden centers in Barcelona
For information on future garden prices and installation:
Gardening Advice: Instruction for Growing Oregano, How to Grow Oregano in Your Herb Garden. www. How to Garden Advice.com. Web. 1 Dec 2010 <http://www.howtogardenadvice.com/>.
Grosvenor, Carrie. Growing Mint Herb Plants in Gardens: Herb Garden Tips. How to do things.com. 2010. Web. 1 Dec 2010 <http://www.howtodothings.com/>.
Growing parsley in your herb garden. Flower and Garden Tips. Web. 1 Dec 2010 <http://www.flower-and-garden-tips.com/>.
Guia de Jardineria sostenible. Barcelona: Ajuntament de Barcelona. Print.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis). The Owlcroft Company. 23 Feb 2009. Web. 2 Dec 2010 <http://growingtaste.com/>.
Iannotti, Marie, About.com. Growing Lavender. The New York Times Company. 2010. Web. 1 Dec 2010 <http://gardening.about.com/>.
The Guia de Jardineria sostenible was from La Fabrica del Sol. A sustainable, office, they have a roof-top terrace that could be a future model for the IES terrace.
La Fàbrica del Sol
Passeig Salvat Papasseit, 1 (cantonada carrer Ginebra)
Tel.: 93 256 44 30
lafabricadelsol at bcn.cat | http://www.mcrit.com/crbs/princial/principal.htm
1.5. Students involved in this action
Assignment: Peer review form
Grades for this action report (From the PROFESSOR)