Free food at the Organic Garden

Organic is in. From organic chapstick to shampoo to tampons, many modern Americans want their products pesticide-free, all-natural, or home grown.

Whitman College has its very own new and improved organic garden, located next to the Physical Plant and behind the Hall of Science. Everything grown in the garden is free to anyone who wants to come pick it: for a little labor. “A handful of weeds,” the slogan says, “for a handful of produce.”

Photo by Andrew Propp“You just go in, do some work, and take something home with you. Anyone can go, Whitman or non-Whitman community members,” said garden worker and Whitman student Karlis Rokpelnis.

Right now the garden is blooming with spinach, herbs and other greens. Also, there will be food growing all summer through for those remaining in Walla Walla after May.

The garden has better quality and an even higher quantity of produce than last year.

Whitman students exchange a little sweat for fresh produce. "We have more food than we can use, so we really like it when people come," said Organic Garden President Mica Quintana | Photo by Andrew ProppPresident of the Organic Garden Mica Quintana said, “We are starting an eight-year rotation system. This works off of the theory that certain plants grow well after other plant have been growing in that area. We divide different plants by family and rotate them.”

The Organic Garden has also employed a full-time intern to take care of the garden, Whitman student Kevin Van Meter. “The intern does research on gardening methods and develops an overall plan for the garden,” Quintana said.

“Basically there’s a just a lot more energy going into the garden this semester. There are a ton of people working on it,” said Van Meter.

The garden is open to everyone, 24 hours a day. But, to get your hands dirty in company, there are now specific times to dust off your spicket and hoe and start weeding.

Photo by Andrew Propp“We have standardized gardening times.” Quintana said. “Everyone is invited to come garden Friday and Saturday afternoons, at 3:30 to 6 on Friday and 1:30 to 4 on Saturday.”

“We have more food than we can use, so we really like it when people come,” said Quintana.