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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Marshall Foundation promotes sustainable living, farming through new garden

Jordin O’Connor
Jordin O’Connor / Arizona Daily Wildcat A new garden being built in Geronimo Plaza for bussinesses to grow some of their own food.

The Marshall Foundation is building a new garden on University Boulevard to encourage sustainable living.

The new garden will be used for small businesses to grow some of their own ingredients that will promote sustainable living and urban farming. The garden’s framework was installed Saturday afternoon in Geronimo Plaza. The garden’s estimated date of completion is Saturday.

A team of students from Students for Sustainability, as well as a landscaping team, will assist the Marshall Foundation with maintaining the garden throughout the year, according to Jane McCollum, general manager of the Marshall Foundation.

The Marshall Foundation decided to build the new garden because it is a sustainable and convenient source of fresh ingredients that will benefit the small businesses, McCollum added.

“The small businesses will find that they can advertise that they are using fresh ingredients they are growing right outside,” McCollum said. “I think it’s become very important to some people that they know where their food is grown. They like that and they like to know what is going into their food.”

The garden will primarily consist of herbs such as cilantro and basil. The goal of the garden is to provide as many crops as possible for the convenience of the businesses, said Taylor Sanders, assistant garden manager and an environmental sciences freshman.

Sanders will be in charge of some maintenance and hosting workshops for the staff members to learn how to maximize the size of their plots.

“I think it’s a great way for people to see how easy it is to urban garden because people get this idea that it’s such a huge ordeal to make garden beds and you can really just make it out of a couple two-by-fours and metal,” Sanders said. “Starting it is so easy and accessible here and, outside of the obvious benefit of fresher, cheaper food, the garden will be a prime example of how easy, therapeutic and fascinating it is to grow your own food in Tucson.”

According to Ramiro Scavo, chef and owner of Pasco Kitchen and Lounge, the easy access of the garden will be very convenient for the small business. Pasco’s menu is already heavily influenced by the concept of urban farming and Scavo said he looks forward to utilizing the plot to its full capacity.

“Anytime you are using fresher ingredients, beautiful ingredients that you are involved with growing, it’s a benefit,” Scavo said. “It’s a benefit for the flavor and the soul of the food, for the good energy of the drinks and it’s always good to look at. People like that and we’re in here to make the best things possible.”

Scavo added that herbs can be grown in small areas, year-round and quickly, which is a large benefit for the small restaurant which uses these fresh ingredients for cooking, drinks and garnishes. Pasco incorporates herbs such as spearmint, cilantro, basil and peppermint in the majority of its drinks and dishes.

“I think it’s the way of the future,” Scavo said. “The way the future is headed, we should all know how to grow plants and learn how to do some type of urban farming.”

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