Friday, June 1, 2012
After a lovely and productive meeting with students, faculty, staff and advisers associated with the Public Health Garden past, present and future, we spent an equally productive afternoon doing maintenance on the hillside. We managed to squeeze a few dozen more Zinnias, Bachelors Buttons and Four O'Clocks into our flower patch, find and clear soil space for eggplant, cucumber and squash transplants, and start implementing the vision of our new community garden planner, Phil Capon. We also had an opportunity to share extra plants with gardeners, friends and supporters in the College of Agricultural and Natural Resources.
During our time on site we noticed this fantastic example of adventitious roots on one of the Institute of Applied Agriculture's container-planted tomatoes and the stabilizing qualities of these roots beg a comparison of the future of the garden itself.
Adventitious roots arise from different parts of the plant - like the stem and branches - than traditionally develop from the primary root (apical meristem). In the case of tomatoes, adventitious root growth can be encouraged by burying a few inches of the stem beneath the soil during a transplant and will strengthen the plant by giving it a wider foundation for support.
The Public Health Garden began as a seed - an idea and a grant - that with the right mix of sunshine, soil, water and attention turned into a strong, lively, and quickly-growing plant with supportive adventitious roots popping our all over the place! As those roots have taken hold across campus in Facilities Management, the Student Club, the Institute of Applied Agriculture, the School of Public Health, Campus Recreation, the Wellness Coalition, the Office of Sustainability, the Arboretum Outreach Center, the dream of the garden continues to grow stronger and more sustainable each and every day.