GreECO Reps and Tom Thumb’s Student Garden team up for gardening event

Tom Thumb's Student Garden on April 21. Nicholas Pfosi / The Tufts Daily

Tufts GreECO Reps and Tom Thumb’s Student Garden hosted an instructional gardening event titled “Corn Hole and Gardening” on Saturday, April 18, at which participants worked together on projects in the garden by South Hall.

Senior and Founder of Tufts GreECO Reps Ellen Osborn explained that she organized the event with Tom Thumb’s Student Garden President Nicholas Dorian, noting that the two on-campus groups partnered a few weeks ago.

The Tufts GreECO Reps are a group of representatives from each Greek chapter on campus that helps Tufts meet its sustainability goals, according to the group’s Facebook pageTom Thumb’s Student Garden is part of the Tufts Sustainability Collective, according to its website.

This past weekend’s event was the first time the GreECO Reps and Tom Thumb’s Student Garden worked together to plan a service event together, according to Dorian, a junior. He added that he was happy to have collaborated with the GreECO Reps.

“I was so pleased that the GreECO Reps reached out,” he said.

Participants used raised bed gardening to revitalize the garden after the winter, according to Dorian. He explained that this type of gardening technique is popular because the beds are 12 inches off the ground. Students are thus able to have the access and flexibility to design exactly the garden that they want. Dorian added that they used five to seven inches of new soil, fertilizer and compost to bring the garden back to life.

(Nicholas Pfosi / The Tufts Daily)

Nicholas Pfosi / The Tufts Daily

According to Osborn, a junior, approximately 50 students came to the event.

Dorian explained that spring is a good time to have an event like this because students have access to the beds to prune back the plants. He added that it is also helpful to work on the garden while students are still on campus.

At the event, participants had the opportunity to learn about pollinator conservation, according to Dorian. The coordinators focused on increasing the awareness and importance of pollinators. Participants also learned about how to plant seeds and what exactly goes into creating a garden, he said.

Different groups worked on different aspects of the garden, according to Osborn.

Dorian explained that one group, for example, made seed bombs, which students throw in order to disperse seeds easily among the beds. Other groups worked on fixing new beds that were damaged over the winter, putting in higher quality soil, creating pollinator habitats and painting the fence surrounding the garden, Dorian said. 

The event featured music, merchandise and pizza from Flatbread Company, Osborn said. Dorian added that there was also a corn hole lawn game competition.

Dorian explained that he was looking forward to “getting back to the roots” of gardening while planning the event.

Osborn agreed, adding that this event was good to reconnect students at Tufts with the outdoors. She explained that because Tufts is in such an urban environment, it can sometimes be “disconnecting” for students given that they do not often interact with the outdoors.

The GreECO Reps initially wanted to think of something to do on campus to get students more involved in sustainability efforts, Osborn explained. She noted that this is what led them to the idea for Saturday’s gardening instruction event.

Dorian added that Tom Thumb’s Student Garden will also host a booth to teach students about pollinator education and how to plant their own seeds today for Earth Day.