The Dirty Deeds Gardening Club was founded by students of the Otis College of Art and Design in the fall of 2014. The garden is part of the Westchester’s Emerson Community Garden, and the communal plot is operated off of the college grounds. The plot is maintained and shared by students, staff and faculty. The garden is intended to provide students and community members with the opportunity to learn and engage with gardening and sustainable living. The club seeks to raise awareness of environmental matters among students, staff and faculty through gardening activities, talks, film showings and workshops led by community experts. Members grow tomatoes, fava beans, lettuce, chard, kale, chamomile, parsley, beets, radishes, carrots, and strawberries.
College: Otis College of Art and Design
Location: Los Angeles, California
Size: 150 square feet
Sales and Distribution: Instead of selling their produce, volunteers share produce from the garden amongst themselves.
Management Structure: The garden club’s community plot is student-organized. All gardening and event planning responsibilities are shared across the group members, and the group has a President, Vice President, and advisors that work together to design themes, events and workshops each semester.
Financial Model: Emerson Community Garden, the larger community garden in which the Dirty Deeds garden plot is located, allows use of the garden plot for a minimal yearly fee, as well as volunteer hours in garden maintenance days. Funding for seeds and some supplies is provided by the Office of Student Activities at Otis College of Art and Design.
Unique Features: The Dirty Deeds Gardening club uses pea plants as a cover crop to replenish the soil. Although campus clubs are intended for students, The Dirty Deeds Gardening Club aims to create opportunities for interaction amongst students, staff, faculty and community members. The fact that the garden plot is located in the Emerson Community garden creates a bridge between students and the community outside of the college, allowing the gardeners to grow not only food, but also friendships and networks of communication, which they perceive as core components of sustainability.
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