IUPUI to Produce New Produce with Garden Expansion and New Tools
The Indiana University
—Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Urban Gardens' expansion will be almost a third of space.
Located on the southwest corner of campus, the gardens will introduce new produce, including vined fruit and gourds, such as watermelons, pumpkins, and cantaloupes. The new 1,408 square foot patch is on a hill. To combat erosion, the new plants will act as a mat that will hold the soil together.
"We'll be putting down straw to prevent erosion as things grow. We already have multiple classes wanting to help plant and get this established."Office of Sustainability Director Jessica Davis
The gardens are expected to yield other new produce, including corn, squash, and honey. This food will eventually show up at IUPUI's student-run food pantry, Paw's Pantry, IUPUI's monthly Fresh Produce Market, and in your food at the dining hall.
Bring a reusable bag the next time you go to buy fresh produce. Get yours today from Custom Earth Promos.
The tilling of the expansion also marked the debut of new equipment for the Office of Campus Faculty Services. A collaboration with the sustainability office and a $12,000 grant allowed IUPUI grounds members to implement an arsenal of new, electric equipment
—two tillers, nine leaf blowers, nine weed trimmers, five chainsaws, two pole saws, and two gasoline free push mowers.
They came from Greenworks Commercial and were received early this summer. Along with being greener, the tools are much quieter and don't vibrate as much.
Grounds program manger, Jesse Beck, quickly realized that these tools allows him his team more freedom to do their job. The electric equipment has a volume of less than 85 decibels. This is easier on the staff hearing and lets them work both early in the morning and late at night if needed. The zero-emissions equipment also allows the crew to work on Knozone Action Days. Knozone is an initiative to make Central Indiana one of the Midwest's most sustainable, livable regions.
"All of the research buildings are 100 percent fresh air intake. Now, when you're walking around the buildings working, you're not putting gas fumes into the building."Grounds Program Manager Jesse Beck
Grounds services manager, Clay Collins, also loves the Greenworks equipment. That he said it works so great that his office is considering purchasing two of their electric riding mowers.
"They perform just as well as gas-powered equipment."Grounds Services Manager Clay Collins
Another team-up between the Office of Sustainability and the Office of Campus Faculty Services is coming. More than 4,000 square feet of land will be excavated for a pollinator garden. On September 10 and 11th, volunteers will plant native flowering species with the goal of attracting bees and butterflies, among other pollinators.
Attract pollinators to your own garden by using seed paper to help get it started.
This project is partly funded by $3,000 sponsorship from Rolls-Royce. This initiative will help IUPUI with its Bees Campus USA standard.