First-Year Seminar Sows Fall Harvest

By Purnell T. Cropper | September 16, 2011

Editor’s note: The following was written collaboratively by students in the We Are What We Eat first-year seminar using

While classes at Arcadia University just started a couple weeks ago, the freshman seminar, We Are What We Eat, dug right into their information. One damp Friday morning began with cloudy skies and a handful of sleepy college students, whom after wandering around trying to find an elusive garden, not even on the map, came to a rectangular plot of grown vegetables and herbs. While plants like basil and squash were already growing in the garden, the students made room to grow more. Everyone saw green foliage; touched crumbling dirt, smelled the earthy tone of the secret garden. While weeding, the class ran into different bugs and insects that drove some people crazy. The next week, after conquering our unruly garden, we started to plant seeds. Spinach, arugula, chard and radishes were planted and are now being taking care of by the students. Measurements were calculated, seeds counted, and holes were dug by hand. For many, this was a new whole new experience, and they were heading into uncharted territory. How are they expected to take care of a whole garden by themselves when they have had no farming experience before? Beginning anything can be boring since there isn’t any immediate progress, but that’s the creation towards a buildup of feeling accomplishment.

Remember that old saying “Patience is a virtue?” Well you will definitely need it planting seeds because it can take a long time to grow and you have to nurture it. Every week we have to water them, and maybe by then end of the month or another week into it, the plant will be fully grown and ready to eat. A long wait, yes it may be, but you will get a vegetable that is fresh, free, and can use some of the seeds again to plant even more spinach. I know it sounds nasty getting into the dirt, encountering creepy crawlers, and getting impatient, but I guarantee that you will enjoy your food. I strongly encourage you to get dirty and get healthy.