Since the 2012 growing season, Antioch University New England’s Community Garden Connections (CGC) program has partnered with C&C Wholesale Grocers through this one-of-a-kind workplace garden initiative. C&S Wholesale Grocers of Keene, NH is the largest food wholesaler in the United States, distributing food to supermarkets, retail stores and military bases across the country. This C&S Workplace Organic Garden Project complements C&S’ community involvement four core initiatives: eliminating hunger; strengthening community; protecting the environment; and encouraging volunteerism. This project also creates opportunities to enhance employee wellness and satisfaction, encourage healthy eating, and increase connectedness to the natural world in this work setting. C&S Wholesale Grocers identified a need for education and project management to best ensure workplace garden success, while Antioch faculty in the Environmental Studies (ES) Department seek avenues for students to gain professional experience and practice-based research.
Since this project’s establishment, Antioch students have completed professional internships as “Garden Educators” or “Project Management & Communications Coordinators”. They have gained professional experience and on-the-job skills in community garden management, program development, adult education, volunteer management, project evaluation, management, and communications. We also partnered to establish the C&S Doctoral Fellowship, the first fellowship of it’s kind. To learn more, contact ES Faculty Member, Libby McCann.
Antioch University New England’s Rain Garden emerged from AUNE student, Kyle Turoczi, and his Watershed Science course project. Planted in the Fall of 2010 by AUNE students, faculty, and friends, it was organized in part by CGC Co-Coordinators. As one of seven Keene Rain Gardens, our garden was made possible by Cheshire County Conservation District and funding by the Conservation License Plates (Moose Plate).
Antioch University New England’s School Garden, cultivated in 2009, actively involves students and staff in the continued design, construction, planting, and gathering of vegetables. The vegetables gathered are donated to Donna’s, AUNE’s campus-based Monadnock Developmental Service café, which employs community members with developmental and related disabilities, and Keene’s Community Kitchen.
The Farm to School Forum, held in the Fall of 2010, was hosted by Monadnock Farm & Community Connection to provide educators and community members with hands-on gardening tools to enhance their ability to engage others. The forum also presented a resource, Stories from the Field: Farm and Garden Education Case Studies of the Monadnock Region. Having assisted with the forum, CGC hopes to continue the spirit of providing others with tools to enhance our environmental, personal, and community wellness.