Campus gardens are an integral component of the overall Eastern Washington University Sustainable Food Project. We are working with the rest of the EWU/Cheney community to reconnect to the land around us, by providing experiential and educational settings — campus gardens — in which anyone can directly experience the living world, as well as the pleasure of eating slow food fresh from the gardens, every day.
We will offer much of the fresh, organic food produced in our campus gardens at the EWU Thursday Fresh Market and in EWU dining facilities, and envision the gardens providing a great educational and recreational facility for the entire EWU/Cheney community.
1. Reconnect and educate the EWU community, general public, educators, and students of all ages to their food systems.
2. Serve as a resource within the network of school gardens research by contributing place-based educational resources suitable for local and regional utilization.
3. Provide students with leadership opportunities and methods of collaboration.
4. Help shape EWU policy to offer healthy, environmentally, and socially just food on campus.
5. Build and encourage soil and agricultural ethics in practice.
6. Establish a peaceful community retreat utilizing the principles of permaculture.
The food produced in the E.W.U. Community Garden will be distributed through the following succession. First, any food that E.W.U. Dining Services desires to purchase will be sold at market value to be resold at the EWU Fresh Market or used in food prepared on campus dining facilities. The remaining food can be available to student farmers, donated to local hunger fighting organizations, and used at sustainability focused events. The money collected from sales at markets will be directly deposited into the EWU Sustainability Project campus account which will be used to fund sustainability campaigns/events and the next years garden.
Currently garden volunteers are rewarded in vegetables and herbs. Eventually, volunteer workers may be offered meal vouchers for their work on a first-come, first-serve basis. A volunteer can also decline to earn meal vouchers for his/her work and leave the money in the community account. All meal vouchers will be distributed based on the order that volunteers worked in the garden.
This model helps to create a local economy, in which the university purchases food from the garden with the knowledge that it will be directly reinvested at the dining-sites operated by E.W.U. Dining Services. Additionally, it supports the local community and adds a voluntary service learning component to the university by allowing volunteers to support the local community through meal vouchers.