Saturday, June 9, 2012

Organic Bowdoin

Posted by Deirdre Oakley, BRUNSWICK, ME -- I was lucky enough to attend Bowdoin College and will always think of it as a special place. It's a place where learning seems organic and ever growing. I went back for reunion recently to see old friends, and during that great but rain-soaked weekend stumbled upon something I hadn't seen before -- something that immediately captured my never-ceasing Sociological imagination. It was both a place and a communal space. It was the Bowdoin Organic Garden.

True to the organic spirit of the college, the garden was begun by a group of earthy, enterprising, and environmentally-conscious students in 2004 with support from faculty, administration, and dining services. It was developed as both an educational and production garden where students can learn organic agricultural techniques, as well as give something tangible back to the community. The first soggy soil harvest sent some 700 fresh tomatoes into the dining halls. Now 64 different crops are harvested. The produce -- delivered green by bicycle cart -- is split between the dining halls, the college food co op, and the local Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program 

Deirdre Oakley is the Editor of Social Shutter and an Associate Professor of Sociology at Georgia State University. She can be reached at


  1. So wonderful you could cover this innovation that some of us here in Maine drive by every day and to some degree take for granted. Great seeing you last weekend!