The sustainability crew headed toward Ames, Iowa, for a High Tunnel short course! This was a great opportunity for our sustainability program to learn more about high tunnels so we can apply the information we learn to the one we have on campus.
As the leaves begin to change and the threat of frost approaches, I can’t help but feel nostalgic about this past summer and all the skills I was able to learn and my community involvement. I was able to experience a green(er) lifestyle over the summer, and will use the tools in the future.
With an ever-growing population, those within agriculture are constantly forced to search for new ideas and innovations to remedy the food shortage at hand. From genetically modifying to using unconventionally-shaped trellis to support tomatoes, each of them started from somewhere and added a unique style to the gardening community. One idea that has gained energy in recent years is the use of cover crops.
Over the summer, an initiative put in by Professor Jen Abraham-White allowed for the purchase of new recycling bins for each of the buildings on Graceland’s Lamoni campus. Historically, our campus has had recycling bins, however they are few and far apart. The newer multicolored bins enable and help to influence a greener mindset of the students here at Graceland — and thus far it shows.
The process of painting the mural took some time but was a great community activity. There were many different faces outside painting every day; even as the temperature rose, people were still willing to participate.
As promised in our last blog post, Graceland Sustainability is back with more photos and facts about insects in the Lamoni area. Now we are highlighting the amazing and helpful arthropods we should see in the area soon, as spring continues to arrive with these recent rains.
When the temperature climbs back up into a comfortable range (the recent rains and warmth tell me it may be doing so for good!), all the insects that have overwintered will start to emerge and quickly multiply. Some of these little creatures are beneficial to humans, and some are harmful, but they all play an important role in our local ecosystems.
As a senior at Graceland, and a temporary resident of Lamoni, it struck me the other day that I’ve lived here for three and a half years and don’t know where we get our electricity and water from. It occurred to me that the majority of Graceland students probably don’t know, either. These are important things to know, regardless of where you live, and they are especially useful bits of knowledge when it comes to being mindful of our energy use and how it affects our environment. I went on a little hunt for this information, and here it is in a nutshell, along with a few tips on how to make good choices with the environment in mind!
Earlier this month, the Graceland Sustainability team, along with students from Sustainability Coordinator Jen Abraham-White’s critical thinking course, had a special opportunity presented to us: we were invited to watch the netting, banding and rerelease of northern saw-whet owls in order to gain knowledge on their migration habits.
Fall is finally starting to roll into Graceland! At the time I am writing this, it is a crisp 41° outside. The leaves on the trees are just starting to change. For Sustainability, the most telling sign of autumn is that we harvested the last of our “Jack Be Little” miniature pumpkins out of the hoop house this week. These adorable little gourds are ornamental (not edible), and Sodexo bought 50 of them from us to use as decoration for Halloween in the Commons. They’re the perfect tiny, festive table setters.
In the hoop house, we are currently growing Pozzano organic tomatoes, cherry and grape tomatoes, multiple varieties of bell peppers, squash, miniature pumpkins and a few “volunteer” acorn squash that popped up in our compost pile.
AUTHOR: Jenna Cox '17 We are only a couple of weeks into the 2016-17 school year, but the Graceland Sustainability team is already hard at work on a lot ...