|Volume 15, Issue 6||
Learning to garden at PCC Rock Creek
The Learning Garden is the hub of the school’s sustainability program with courses for PCC students on ecosystems, nutrition, health and even garden art. It’s a model of sustainable gardening, employing a closed-loop system in which veggies are grown with composted plant matter from the garden and campus eateries. Its tread-lightly approach is manifested in harnessing solar energy for the irrigation system, catching and storing rainwater, and using bicycles for hauling. Two specially-built bicycles power blenders for making smoothies from the garden’s crops.
Honeybees and other pollinators have a healthy, pesticide-free home in the Learning Garden. In fact, PCC was certified last year as an affiliate of Bee Campus USA, an organization that aims to aid pollinators through the efforts of U.S. colleges and universities.
Garden staff are spreading their message to the next generation through their Springville K-8 Partnership. Students can walk to the garden, get hands-in-dirt learning about how it works, and taste the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor.
Community members may work in the garden and earn credits to spend on produce at Portlandia Farm Standia. Sweat equity earns volunteers $5 to spend for every hour worked.
For much more information about PCC Rock Creek’s Learning Garden, Portlandia FarmStandia, courses, beekeeping, recipes, gardening tips, and sustainability program, go to: pcc.edu/about/sustainability/rock-creek/learning-garden.html.
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