Fall 2015 — Not many campuses can say they are growing sea berries, watermelons, and pumpkins all in the same garden. Envisioned by an OSU student, University Housing and Dining Services and other campus departments have partnered to landscape a fully functional organic garden outside of Callahan Hall named the Food Forest. With the Food Forest, students can observe and participate in organic gardening without even leaving campus. They can harvest fruits and vegetables, prune fruit trees, spread bark chips, and, most importantly, eat the food being grown.
Interns get to work with other student volunteers and Oregon Tilth certified staff members Sylvan Pritchett and Brian Kreft. The hands-on experience enhances academic learning in horticulture or natural resources, and exposes students to organic gardening methods. Spending time gardening in the Food Forest can also help interns and volunteers learn the difference between local, seasonal food options and imported food products while grocery shopping.
Although produce in the Food Forest is available to all students, some of the food is harvested and served in the dining centers or occasionally sold in Cascadia Market. With hopes for an expansion near McNary Dining, organic gardening and fresh food availability on campus is steadily growing. Additions planned for the Food Forest include an orange tree and a grape trellis that will run along the side of Callahan Hall. If you are interested in learning more about the Food Forest, or helping out in the garden, join the listserv!