Daily Archives: September 12, 2010

Growing, growing, grown

Senior Katie Kann (right) discusses organic gardening with a fellow senior in the garden Sept. 3.


The Linfield Community Garden was scarcely more than a fenced-in plot of dirt and rolled-up sod when Linfield students packed up their rooms and left for summer vacation in June. But the 40-by-50-foot garden transformed during the summer. The barely blooming space that students may remember now stands
overgrown, green and flourishing – almost in mockery of the surrounding yellow grass of Renshaw Field.
Much of the credit goes to Gardening Club members who volunteered to water and weed the garden during their summer vacations.
“People came over on a daily basis to check on it, watering in the mornings, in the evenings, weeding when it was necessary,” senior club member Katie Kann said during a Sept. 3 walk-through of the garden.
This garden walk was an opportunity for students to explore the garden, pick produce and learn about the club and organic gardening, Kann said.
Junior Grace Beckett said she had just purchased vegetables from Albertsons to make a stir-fry dinner when a friend texted her about the free produce that evening.
“Just from my perspective, having that one walk through and getting a couple free meals worth of really good food — That’s really cool,” Beckett, who is not a member of the Gardening Club, said. “That’s like gold to a college student. I don’t know if other people realize there’s this stash of food there.” And it certainly is a large stash.
“We have so much produce; we need people to help us eat it,” Kann said. Students may have noticed the corn stocks reaching over the garden’s fence. Inside the barrier hides a myriad of edible flora. Hand-painted wood signs mark rows of strawberries, carrots, cherry tomatoes, onions and more. The zucchini plants’ leaves are easily as wide as basketballs, and big, round cantaloupes are almost ready for harvest.
“We kind of wanted the shock of it to get more recruitment [for the club],” freshman Robin Fahy said. Fahy and his brother, sophomore Lester Maxwell, are the Gardening Club’s co-presidents. Junior Lily Ratliff, who founded the club last fall, is studying abroad in Costa Rica for Fall Semester.
“When she [Ratliff] was thinking about passing on the leadership, she knew that Lester and I had pretty close ties with gardening in our past,” Fahy said, referring to their dad, Michael Fahy, who is a painter, carpenter and gardener in Facilities Services.
And the shock value worked. Maxwell said that between the walk through and the Activities Fair, the club’s e-mail list grew to 100 members. The freshmen common reading, Michael Pollen’s “In Defense of Food,” also sparked a wide interest in organic gardening and, thus, club membership, she said. The brothers have big plans for the garden this year. In the winter, Maxwell said the club will plant hearty crops, such as broccoli, garlic and winter lettuce that can endure cold weather. But the majority of the crops will be ground cover, such as clover and rye grasses, which release nutrients to help balance nitrogen in the soil, he said.
Fahy and Maxwell agreed that the garden needs to be more of an inviting, community space. “People are so scared by that fenced-off area,” Maxwell said, explaining that a lot of produce goes to waste because students are not harvesting and eating the garden’s crops. To make it more accessible and approachable, Fahy said one of his goals is to develop the architectural landscape of the garden to fashion an outdoor oasis where people can go to eat and socialize. And the brothers said they plan to again harness the talents of seniors Sammi Mack and Libby Wilcox, who helped write a grant proposal that profited the club $2,000 from the ACES (Advisory Committee on the Environment and Sustainability) Committee’s Renewable Energy and Sustainability Fund last year. The garden also houses a compost machine, purchased with a $750 grant that Kann received last year from the sustainability fund. Maxwell said Kann plans to bolster the campus’s composting efforts this year by distributing five-gallon buckets to residents of the Hewlett-Packard apartments. Students can store compostable waste in the buckets before dumping it in the garden’s compost pile.
“It feels amazing to be a part of that entire student operative on campus,” Maxwell said. “It just shows the power of the student body on campus and what they can do, what they’re capable of.” The Gardening Club will be hosting a work party at 2 p.m. Sept. 12 in the garden for people interested in harvesting, weeding or just eating food. For more information about the gardening club, contact gardenclub@linfield.edu.

Photos and story by Kelley Hungerford/Editor-in-chief
Kelley Hungerford can be reached at linfieldrevieweditor@gmail.com.

Using food stamps to make it through college


Two years into the current economic recession, we all need money, as times are tough. The number of Oregonians seeking assistance from the Food Stamp Program (renamed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program on Jan. 1) has increased 49 percent since June 2008, according to data on the Food Research and Action Center’s website. The food stamp program is provided by the government to help improve the health and well-being of low-income households and individuals, according to Oregon SNAP’s government website.
Senior Zachary Hubbard has received food stamps for several years. He gets $200 a month in food stamps. This money is placed on a card, similar to a debit card, which is used to pay for food (see image at right). He said he usually goes to Winco and Albertsons to buy fresh food. But he is not allowed to buy cooked food. “I appreciate the food stamps program, which is good to save money,” Hubbard said. “Oregon is
one of the few states that I know that has such a program.”

Mark of lower class?

Although food stamps are only given to people who make less than $150 per month, Hubbard said they don’t make him feel low class because many Linfield students he knows receive food stamps. He also said applying as a student has a completely different association with non-students. A senior male student said in an e-mail that he wouldn’t use food stamps if he didn’t need to, but he wouldn’t be embarrassed if a group of friends use them together. However, using food stamps still gives him an awkward feeling, which is why he chose to remain anonymous. Some of his friends make fun of him and try to eat his food because they think it was not purchased with his money. He also said that he feels like there are non-students who are richer than college students but use food stamps, so he said he doesn’t see a problem with students who are struggling to pay for school using food stamps to purchase food.

Tips to apply for SNAP benefits

For Linfield students who apply for Oregon SNAP:

Qualifications:

• Must be an Oregon resident

• Must have a federal work study job

• Must not be on any meal plan

• Must earn income of less than $150 per month (cash) and have bank accounts totaling less than
$100.

Steps of application:

• Print an application from

http://DHSforms.hr.state.or.us/Forms/Served/DE0415F.pdf or call your local self-sufficiency office
to have one mailed to you or pick one up at your local self-sufficiency office.

• Fill out the application.

• Turn in the application:

You can mail, fax or drop the application off at your local self-sufficiency office. The McMinnville office is at 368 NE Norton Lane.

The Food Stamps Assistance office in McMinnville where most students applied for food stamps is at 330 NE Kirby St., which is in the parking lot of the movie theater off of Highway 18, across from the Willamette Valley Medical Center.

• After you submit an application, make an appointment for an interview with a caseworker. The
officer of SNAP may go over the application with you in an interview.

What to bring to the interview:

• Identification card

• Social Security number or card

• Proof of income, rent and mortgage payments (the pink copy of employment sheet from Linfield
Human Resources Office)

• Proof of your legal status or citizenship for those who want benefits

*These tips are provided by the Application for Services from the Oregon Department of Human
Services.

by Jaffy Xiao/Features editor