Urban Gardening: Bringing Climate Action to the SICSS terrace (copy 1)

07.06.2019

In a combined effort, students from both the School of Integrated Climate System Sciences (SICSS) Master and Doctoral programs have set up multiple raised beds on the SICSS’s terrace to put theory into action and grow vegetables and herbs in a community garden.

This summer, a group of us, Master and Doctoral students, has initiated a community garden project for all of SICSS to participate. To be as sustainable as possible, we decided to upcycle old material – mostly wooden boards from old pallets – and turn them into new raised beds.

In a first session, roughly 15 of us moved from studious theory to grueling action, taking apart the pallets with crowbars and hammers before putting the boards back together to form the new raised beds.

Few days later, an even larger group came together to combine the SICSS student stammtisch with the first actual gardening event. The early raised beds were moved to the terrace and given their finishing touches before they were filled with three layers of soil, compost and wood. And no raised bed is really finished, of course, without the first few plants. Students and SICSS staff donated a variety of plants, such as tomatoes, a pumpkin and wild flowers, that now grow on the terrace.

While the first phase is finished, the gardening project is far from over. Now, we work together on a watering schedule and look into expanding the initial community garden with more plants, pots, and even a palm tree to protect the tomatoes from too much sun in a more sustainable way than a simple umbrella could.