Saturday, April 30, 2011

Happy Maryland Day!

If you stopped by the "Future Home of the Public Health Garden" today, you likely left with a tomato and/or basil plant, some seeds, and a flier reminding you to come by tomorrow, Sunday May 1, 2011, for an evening with the PHG gang, pizza and our honored guests: the Eco-Goats!

Brian Knox, of Eco-Goats, worked tirelessly to get the electric fencing up and the grounds prepared for tomorrow. We even got discuss the project with the First Lady of the School of Public Health, Barbara Gold.

Special thanks to everyone who volunteered at the booth, to all our interested visitors, and to the young aspiring gardeners for planting beans and spreading the good gardening word! We had a great time sharing our experiences with the project so far and got a wonderful boost from everyone's interest and enthusiasm surrounding the goats and garden.

Visit and 'like' our Facebook page to see more pics from the day.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April and May Event Details

We hope you are enjoying the warm weather and are as eager as we are to get started in the garden.  There are a number of great events coming up at the Public Health Garden before the end of the semester!  We are located on the UMD College Park Campus between the School of Public Health and the Eppley Recreation Center.  We would love for you to come join us for the following events:
  • Saturday April 30, 10 am- 4pm: Maryland Day at the Public Health Garden
  • Sunday May 1, 5-10 pm: Goats and Gardens Part I
    • Stop by and visit us at the Public Health Garden to watch the Eco Goats ( eat our unwanted plants on our site.  We will have discussions about sustainable agriculture, free food, some music, and other activities outside! We will also have some plant and seed give-aways. 
    • Feel free to bring additional snacks, food or refreshments to share with fellow goat-watchers :)
  • Monday, May 2, 11-12, 1-2, or 3-4 pm: Sustainable Agriculture and Goats Demo
    • We are offering three different times to come meet Brian Knox of Eco-Goats to talk with him about sustainable agriculture and the use of goats for land management. 
  • Monday, May 2, 5-10 pm: Goats and Gardens Part II
    • Stop by and visit us at the Public Health Garden to watch the Eco Goats ( eat our unwanted plants on our site.  We will have discussions about sustainable agriculture, free food, some music, and other activities outside! We will also have some plant and seed give-aways. 
    • Feel free to bring additional snacks, food or refreshments to share with fellow goat-watchers :)
All events will be held at the site of the Public Health Garden (between the SPH and Eppley Rec Center).  If you want to help organize or have questions about the events, please contact  If you have a group that would like an individualized demo session with Eco Goats, please let use know and we will set it up for you. 
These events are funded in part by your Graduate Student Activities Fee. Thanks GSG!
We look forward to seeing you at the garden to celebrate all of our accomplishments this semester and get ready for implementation and construction!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!  We are busy getting ready for implementation of the Public Health Garden.  Please take some time to sign up to volunteer to help us on Maryland Day by clicking the Volunteer Sign Up tab.  If you volunteer, you will help us share information about the garden, give away plants from the greenhouse, and plant seeds in recycled containers that we will paint with kids that come by! 

Here is the schedule we are working towards for implementation:
  • April 30: Maryland Day (and goat set up)
  • May 1: Arrival of Eco-Goat goats to start clearing the site and evening celebration on site (funded by GSG)
  • May 2: Eco-Goat goats at work all day, demos about sustainable agriculture, and evening celebration on site (funded by GSG)
  • 1st week of May: Begin construction and initial planting
Please mark your calendars for the weekend of May 7-8 for our potential first work week in the garden!  We'll provide more details soon. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Our Visit to San Diego: A Small Blurb from Rachel T and Wenjie

We would like to thank everyone for your support as we traveled to San Diego for Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) April 1-3. Allison worked hard to arrange the paypal account so that you, our garden supporters, could help fund our trip and we would like to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your donations!  Through your donations and a small grant, we were able to collect enough to cover our entire trip to CGI U!

We are happy to say that our visit to San Diego was a great success.  We spent most of Saturday (April 2nd) exhibiting the status and successes of the Public Health Garden.  Wenjie was even able to share our story in Chinese!  It was surprising and exciting to hear the overwhelming support for and interest in our project.  Several students from campuses all around the United States expressed interest in following our blog and learning ways that they too can start a local student teaching and community garden.

In addition to sharing our own story, Wenjie and I were able to explore the exhibits and learn about countless other exciting projects ranging from student ambassadors abroad to reducing poverty in remote places of the world to student organizations aimed at promoting campus LEED certifications and so much more.  We also attended several panels, one of which Chelsea Clinton moderated and another moderated by Bill Clinton himself (complete with Sean Penn as a surprise panelist).  Thanks to Wenjie, we were in the second row! Topics covered included urban planning and security infrastructure of underdeveloped countries, global resources and capacity, "green jobs not jail" youth initiatives, the growth of India and China, the devastation of Haiti and Japan in the wake of recent natural disasters, and much more.

We are so happy to have attended this conference on behalf of the Public Health Garden.  The garden is everything we ever imagined it to be and we look forward to the coming months of goats, construction, and planting fun with all of you.

Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts and good luck in school as the semester comes to a close!

Yours truly,
RT & Wenjie

Monday, April 18, 2011

Take a Look: Our Winning Design

I hope you can feel our excitement for construction and implementation of the garden! We can't wait to spend time in this beautiful space.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

We're Approved!

This week was a big week for the Public Health Garden.  Look at everything we've done:

1. Design selection
2. IACUC approval for use of goats to clear the unwanted vegetation off the site (May 1-3)
3. ADSB approval for our design

Thank you everyone for your support and hard work!  Again, a special thank you to the 5 Landscape Architecture Teams for their hard work, analysis, creativity, and all-around excellence. 

Now, we can get to scheduling and planning for construction and moving our plants from the greenhouse into the beds.  I know they are eager to get in the ground.

Don't forget to stop by the Landscape Architecture Department to take a look at all the students' hard work (2nd floor of the Plant Sciences Building at UMD):

Note: This last one is our winner, we will be getting better images (and possibly a video) to share with you of the design!

Friday, April 15, 2011

MLA Student Presentations and Our Design Selection!

Tuesday was an excellent day with three more presentations for the design of the Public Health Garden!  Here are some photos of the MLA students as they presented. 

After the student presentations, feedback forms were collected and reviewed from all attendees from all five the of presentations.  The "jury" (as it was termed) deliberated about the benefits of each of the designs and ultimately came up with a winner! 

Congratulations and thank you to Emilie Carroll, Sarah Capps, and Tom Miller for their beautiful, creative, wonderful (add in positive adjectives here) design for the Public Health Garden.  We are going to ADSB for design approval from the University today (Friday) and then will share their design on the blog. 

Thank you to all the students from the MLA class and LARC321 for their creativity, hard work, and analysis. We can't wait to share more of their work with you on the blog.  You can also go visit the 2nd floor of the Plant Sciences Building were the designs are hanging to check them out for yourself. 

Stay tuned for updates about our (hopeful) approval from ADSB.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

LARC321 Final Presentations & Garden Cake!

On Tuesday, April 5, the students of the LARC321 Structures and Materials Class with Professor Nola presented their final designs for the Public Health Garden. The class was divided into two teams to evaluate, analyze, and design the future garden. Both teams did an excellent job coming up with visions for the Public Health Garden!  It was amazing to see all the creativity and expertise these students brought to this project. Here are the teams at the presentation:

Both groups developed models for the garden.  Here is one:

The other team developed two models of the hill of the Public Health Garden.  One of these was a cake (it was very yummy)!!

Thank you LARC321!  You guys did a wonderful job and we are excited to continue working with you as we move towards implementation. 

We are also looking forward to the MLA final student design presentations next week.  After we see all 5 of the teams, we will be selecting a winning design and presenting it to the University for approval next Friday.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Growing Strong in the Greenhouse

From top to bottom: Swiss Chard (with Basil behind), Broccoli, Peas, Cucumber

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Grazing Groundhog??

This little critter certainly isn't part of the Eco-Goats team. And I'm guessing our cultivation of the plot is only going to diversify his dining options. Yikes!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Goats and Gardens: On Our Way!

Today we submitted an IACUC Proposal for use of goats to clear the unwanted vegetation from the site of the Public Health Garden. If we are approved, we will be contracting Eco Goats to bring 30 goats on site for a maximum of 3 days to eat up the weeds during the first week of May!  There will be opportunities for demonstrations and discussions with students about the use of goats and other small ruminants for land management.  Stay tuned for updates and let us know if you are interested in learning more.