University gets vegetable garden: soon Reftersoup with homegrown courgettes

20 Jun 2022

Growing your own potatoes, courgettes and peppers and taking the harvest home? That will soon be possible in a vegetable garden that is being set up near the campus. Coordinator Hannah Markusse is looking for students and staff members who are willing to help lead the project.

The vegetable garden for students and employees will be located on a piece of wasteland next to the Hortus, behind Park Brakkenstein. ‘The land is owned by Radboud University’, coordinator of Student Wellbeing Hannah Markusse explains. She is coordinating the garden project.

Initially, a 50 square metre vegetable garden will be created, but there is plenty of room to expand. ‘If it goes well, we will definitely do that’, says Markusse.

Allotment without a waitlist

The intention is that the vegetable garden – a collaboration between the departments of sustainability, Human Resources, Campus & Facilities and Student Affairs – will lead to better well-being for students and employees. ‘At the university, we spend all day inside our heads. Weeding out the weeds or digging up potatoes with your hands can help you get to new insights and ideas.’

‘Perhaps we’ll start with berry bushes or a herb garden’

Markusse compares the project to an allotment, ‘but free and without a long waitlist’. The garden will also have picnic benches where people can hold meetings or take a break during their lunch walk.

Whether there will also be a greenhouse with tomatoes, bell peppers and aubergines in the garden? ‘That sounds very nice’, says Markusse. ‘But perhaps we will start with berry bushes or a herb garden, which is less work. If we find that we can manage the garden well, we can always expand.’

Courgette soup in the Refter

Students and employees who work in the garden can take the harvest home to make a tasty and healthy meal. ‘But the ultimate goal is to have soup with courgettes from the garden on the menu in the Refter.’

At the end of June, there will be a brainstorming session, after which a five-member committee of students and staff will be composed to voluntarily design and manage the vegetable garden. So far, there are twenty candidates. Construction will perhaps start after the summer. ‘Then we will plan days when we will all come together and pick up our hoes and shovels and get digging’, says Markusse.

Students and employees who want to roll up their sleeves in the vegetable garden can find more information via this link.

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