31 May 2017

Abertay team on a green mission

Abertay team on a green mission

A team from Abertay University Students' Association is on a ‘greenifying’ mission.

Staff and students have taken on an allotment at the Community Garden in Dundee’s Robertson Street.

The EcoAbertay team are growing fresh produce, which will then be used to create soup bags or given out across campus at little or no cost.

The garden is split into numerous plots and is used by different community groups across the city.

Carina Gaertner, EcoAbertay project co-ordinator, is working with EcoAbertay gardener Gillian Fyfe to make the allotment a success.

Volunteers from Abertay, many who are new to gardening, are being taught basic skills… and they’re already reaping the rewards.

Carina said: “We have a big plot with fantastic views overlooking the water. It’s a beautiful place to be.

“There are so many benefits to this. We’re working closer with the community and we want to produce local, seasonal food. It gets people outside and is a lovely place to take a break from the stresses of life. It’s great for our mental health.

“It gets people together – staff and students – and we’re all learning so much about growing our own produce.

“We want to grow fruit and vegetables that we can then give to staff and students at little or no cost to encourage healthier lifestyles. The aim is to create soup bags, with simple recipes that people can follow.”

Elena Nikolova, who is going into the second year of a BA in Computer Arts at Abertay, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the gardening activity session and I had a lot of fun learning new tips and tricks on planting fruit and veggies.

“For me this was a rewarding experience which I believe has many important benefits including promoting healthy living and supporting sustainability.

“It’s a great opportunity for Abertay students to unwind after a long day of studying, meet up with friends and learn more about wholefood.”

The Community Garden is just one part of EcoAbertay’s mission to ‘greenify’ the campus.

Carina added: “We want a green corridor, which will attract wildlife, like bees, and it generally makes things look nicer when there’s more greenery. We plan to make much better use of the space we have, like ensuring the planters are full, and that we grow produce where we can.”

This mission stretches to the student halls at Lyon Street – a stone’s throw from the allotment.

The team wants to improve the outside space, creating benches out of pallets for students to sit on near a new vegetable plot and planters.

EcoAbertay also run gardening and composting workshops. If you want to get involved and have some spare time to help, email c.gaertner@abertay.ac.uk or via the team’s Facebook page

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