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From left, Anton, Marc, Bauke, Sanne, Kimmi and Lina planting their first seedlings
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Student gardeners at work

Tiled square becomes veg patch

The students with Project Green Garden have planted the first seedlings in the newly constructed garden behind the Nieuwenhuis building. Now, everyone is welcome to hang out there.
Text and photos by Zuzana Ľudviková
28 June om 10:02 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 28 June 2023
om 11:45 uur.
June 28 at 10:02 AM.
Last modified on June 28, 2023
at 11:45 AM.

Pumpkin, watermelon, zucchini, and blackberry, but also basil, thyme, and lavender: what up until recently was a boring tiled square behind the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences is now a fruit, vegetable, and herb patch, tended to by students. Last week, after the tiles had been removed and the soil prepared, they got together to create their dreamed green oasis.   

‘The main goal behind Project Green Garden is to gain the basic skills of putting the seeds in the ground and caring for them’, says Milena Pintilie, a second-year student of international business, originally from Romania. The group of twenty-four students plan to create a permaculture garden that mimics the natural ecosystem.

Learning experience 

For most of them, this is their first time working in a garden. ‘It’s a passion project and we want it to be a learning experience for everybody’, says Milena, who’s also a member of the Green Office Embassy at the Faculty of Economics and Business. However, some students do have gardening experience, so during the meetings, they give the others tips and teach them the right gardening vocabulary.

‘The garden still looks a bit empty, but we keep receiving new plants from friends and from Cathy, the university gardener’, says Milena. When the plants grow bigger, they plan to ask her for feedback to make sure they’re doing a good job or whether any plants need to be moved.

Help needed

The group is always looking for students who can help, according to Milena, either in the summer or next academic year, as most current members are finishing their studies.

They’ll also need a hand in autumn, to add more plants and collect the first harvest, which the group wants to give away to students in difficult situations or use to organise cooking workshops.