Husson plants garden to grow food for community

Posted June 10, 2011, at 8:23 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — More than 40 years after a local farm was purchased to expand a downtown business school, crops are being grown again on the Husson University campus.

Faculty, staff, students and community members on Friday afternoon began planting seedlings in the second annual Community Garden tilled on land near the campus maintenance barn.

The project is more about community than academics, said Aaron Domina, an assistant professor in the School of Pharmacy who is spearheading the project.

“Husson is part of the greater community that surrounds us,” he said. “We’re not isolated over here in our little section of town.”

Last year — the first year Husson planted a garden — the university donated nearly all of the vegetables grown in the community garden to the Shaw House in Bangor. Where this year’s crops will be donated has not been decided, Domina said Friday.

“Everyone we’ve asked for help has been great, whether it is the maintenance department helping us till the soil or faculty members from the School of Science and Humanities helping us remove rocks and weeds,” he said.

Seeds also have been donated. On Earth Day in April, students planted them, and seedlings, including tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, corn and sunflowers, were nurtured in Husson’s small greenhouse. They were planted Friday.

Domina admitted that Maine’s short growing season and the university’s academic calendar make it difficult to recruit a large number of students to help out. Students, including Brenda Oldfield of Dover-Foxcroft, a dual major in biology and chemistry, who live locally are assisting with the project.

“It’s great to see students getting involved in community service projects like this,” Domina said. “Providing opportunities like this adds to their experience here at Husson and promotes civic responsibility.”

Community members interested in volunteering may contact Domina at 992-4935 or dominaa@husson.edu.

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