Students eating at La Posada dining hall or in the Mercado in the SUB this semester may have eaten food made with ingredients grown right here on campus, in the Lobo Gardens.
Items with an “Extreme Local” label feature ingredients from Lobo Gardens, garden coordinator Mona Angel said.
“Everything with the sticker sold like hotcakes, and we were able to supplement Chartwells (The food provider for La Posada) for several months with our harvest,” she said. “They made sandwiches with our vegetables, fruit cups with our melons, and pumpkin bread and soup with pumpkins grown at Lobo Gardens.”
Extreme Local items are limited right now because the growing season is over, but Angel said she expects to supply more food on campus in the spring.
There are three garden sites on UNM’s main campus. Angel said she hopes to increase its presence even more in the new year with a new garden site outside Mesa Vista Hall.
Alex Borowski started a tiny garden outside his Hokona Hall dorm room in November 2009, which was the seed of inspiration for the student- , staff- and faculty-run gardening project. UNM officials shut the garden down because Borowski didn’t obtain the correct permits, but Borowski’s idea grew and the gardening project bloomed since then, according to Travis McKenzie, who helped launch Lobo Gardens.
“We’ve come a long way,” McKenzie said. “At first there was a lot of resistance to even having a garden on campus, and now we have multiple sites. When I coined the name ‘Lobo Gardens,’ I put an ‘s’ (on the name) strategically to show it’s not just one garden, but keeps growing and sprouting more.”
Students are preparing a proposal for Lobo Gardens’ new site, which they will present to UNM Physical Plant and Real Estate Department representatives for approval during the spring semester, student Adrian Carver said.
Carver is a student in the American studies 309 class, which is one of the classes focused on developing and maintaining the Lobo Gardens. The class’s professor, Andrew Marcum, said community gardening is a form of social change.
“The industrial food system affects our choices and control over food access,” he said. “Knowing where our food is from is a social and political issue.”