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The Edible Campus Eater's Digest

March 28, 2022
Edible Campus UNC is a program of the North Carolina Botanical Garden that creates working landscapes across UNC-Chapel Hill to facilitate campus community engagement in topics of food and agriculture sustainability. 
Remember the Golden Rule of Picking when harvesting from the satellite gardens: harvest no more than 1/3 of the plant. This allows the plant to keep growing healthily so others can enjoy it!

Workday Updates

Spring has sprung at Edible Campus! Over the past few weeks, workday volunteers have helped us prepare for Spring by removing winter cover crops, adding organic fertilizers to the soil, planting Spring crops, and weeding. Thank you all for making the workdays so fun and productive! We could not get this work done without you. 

 Workdays

Our workdays this semester are every Monday and the occasional Thursday from 3:00-5:00 pm @ the Edible Campus Main Garden behind Davis Library.
Follow this link to sign up and prepare to get your hands (or garden gloves) dirty!

Stay up to date with what we are working on and receive updates about workdays by following our
Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

Soil Health at Edible Campus
 
Healthy soil is essential for creating a successful garden. Soil is much more than just dirt – there are billions of bacteria and fungi that contribute to making soil a source of life. According to the USDA, soil health is defined as “the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans.” There are many methods and techniques that Edible Campus uses for keeping this living ecosystem at its best.

To ensure the soil is healthy, we test it in the Fall to look at nutrient levels like phosphorus and potassium, in addition to soil pH. Based on these tests, our soil pH tends to be high, so we started applying elemental sulfur which lowers pH over time. This will bring the soil to an ideal range for plant growth.

The image below shows elemental sulfur that was recently added to the Lenoir satellite bed during the last workday.
In addition to annually checking in on the soil, we also consider what kind of plants are growing in the area. Pollinator-friendly plants and seasonal vegetables will have different soil needs, which is why there are dedicated sections for growing seasonal crops. For these seasonal vegetables, we add fertilizer in the form of alfalfa meal - an organic, slow-releasing fertilizer - whenever the crop section transitions. For perennial flowers, we add fertilizer every couple of years. 

Topdressing with compost is also important for maintaining organic matter in the soil. This process also reduces water evaporation since it doubles as mulching. We create the compost with donated food scraps and garden waste like sweet potato vines and spent cover crops, which keeps these things out of the trash and puts them to work as an environmentally friendly solution to keeping soil healthy. 

We generally practice no-till farming because tilling harms the soils' ecosystems. However, when Edible Campus takes on a new garden bed, we use all of these tactics to amend the soil: compost, alfalfa meal, and sulfur, working the additives into the soil with pickaxes or shovels.

When we aren't planting crops in a section, we use cover cropping to keep the ecosystem lively and keep its growing potential high. These cover crops are usually winter peas, cowpeas, and buckwheat depending on the season. 

Carolina Cookbook

In the Spring and Summer of 2020, the Edible Campus team, in partnership with Carolina Cupboard and APPLES, created Carolina Cookbook: A College Student's Guide to Healthy, Affordable & Seasonal Eating at Carolina. The cookbook contains quick, healthy meals that can be made using seasonal ingredients you can obtain from Carolina Cupboard and/or the Edible Campus Gardens. 

This week, Spinach Breakfast Hash is featured. Start your day off right with this quick breakfast recipe! You can find onions at the Stacy and Rams satellite beds, and spinach will be harvested and donated to Carolina Cupboard from the Main Garden within the next couple of weeks. This recipe takes 15 minutes total and only 5 minutes of prep.

For more healthy, affordable and seasonal recipes, consult the
Carolina Cookbook.


Ingredients
Garden: 2 yellow potatoes, 1/2 onion, 2 cups spinach, 2 cloves garlic
Cupboard: 2 tbsp. olive oil, 2 eggs, salt and pepper to taste
 
Directions
1. Sauté diced potatoes and onions in a skillet over high heat.
2. Once the potatoes have browned, add the spinach and minced garlic.
3. Cover and cook for 1-3 minutes until the spinach has wilted.
4. Make two holes in the potato mixture and break an egg into each hole. Cook eggs to your liking.
5. Season with salt and pepper.

Compost
Did you know Edible Campus accepts compost donations at the Main Garden behind Davis Library?  Your food waste will be converted into usable compost for our Main Garden and satellite beds once it is finished curing. Be sure to deposit your food waste in the active bin! 
Not sure what you can compost? Here is a good article about composting.
*Note* avocado pits are not compostable!

Interested in helping us rotate the compost? C
ontact Leanna Mahle at lmariele@live.unc.edu for more information.

What's Growing?

Graham - rosemary, lavender, chives, cilantro, parsley, strawberries. swiss chard, lettuce, arugula
Stacy -  oregano, rosemary, lavender, winter savory, sage, dill, cilantro, parsley, onions, arugula, broccoli, kale, pak choi
Davis -  stevia, mint, mountain mint, catmint, lemon balm, lavender, strawberries, sorrel
Lenoir - rosemary, kale, pak choi, lettuce, swiss chard
Fetzer - pak choi, komatsuna greens, kale, broccoli 
Rams -  strawberries, onions, cilantro, parsley, dill, kale, broccoli 
Hardin - oregano, lavender, sage, chives, parsley, cilantro, kale
SASB - lavender
Campus Health - coming soon!


Brought to you by the Edible Campus Team:
Kyle Parker - Edible Campus Coordinator

Student Leadership Team:
Michael Dorgan '22
Morgan Flynt '22
Molly Hanna '22
Kathryn Obenshain '22
Leanna Mahle '23
Emily Martin '23
Tatum Pryor '24
Kaylee Nguyen '25

 
Donate Today
Edible Campus is grateful for your support to help us keep serving our community during this important time.
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Our mailing address is:
Edible Campus UNC
North Carolina Botanical Garden
University of North Carolina, CB 3375
Chapel Hill, NC 27599

E-mail us at ediblecampusunc@gmail.com.

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