A new organization is at the core of Mary Baldwin’s local food movement, and members are not wasting any time in making their projects visible. A swath of edible herbs planted near the Spencer Center, tilled soil ready for asparagus seedlings at the President’s House, and a well-maintained community garden on Prospect Street are just the start of efforts by the aptly named Apple Corps.
The group officially debuted on Apple Day, when it added rosemary, sage, thyme, and chives to a previously unused strip of earth behind Hunt Dining Hall. The small garden is in an ideal spot for snipping fresh herbs to use in meals for students, faculty, and staff, said Robyn Stegman, Spencer Center staff member and liaison for the Apple Corps.
Later in October — in conjunction with national Make a Difference Day — the group did additional work in the herb garden and prepped ground for an asparagus garden on upper campus. Asparagus was chosen because it requires relatively little maintenance and is used frequently in the Mary Baldwin dining hall, explained sophomore Linnea Barklund, who leads the organization as part of her changemaker internship through the Spencer Center.
“These projects remind me of home,” said Samantha Douglas ’14, a member of the Apple Corps who grew up tending to several family gardens. “I hope when others see the new campus gardens, they will ask questions, and I’ll be happy to tell them about the Apple Corps.”
The Apple Corps will finish its work for the season in the campus gardens on Mary Baldwin’s inaugural Day of Service on November 19, one of several events planned for the college’s Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. The group also is working to bring to campus a guest to talk about local food issues.