Like most gardens and vegetable farms, Morven Kitchen Garden began January indoors reflecting on the past year, planning for the growing season ahead, and starting seeds in the greenhouse.
Here is look back at some highlights from 2018 season:
Internship Program triples in size
We expanded our internship program beyond the summer, to have positions in the spring and fall semesters. In 2018, nine undergrad students interned at MKG, up from three students in 2017. In addition to paid interns, through a partnership with UVA Career Centers Intern Placement Program (IPP), we had our first student doing their internship for credit.
MKG Students win Sustainability Award
At the 2018 Earth Week Sustainability Banquet, the Morven Kitchen Garden won the award for “Outstanding Work in Sustainability for a Traditional Green Group”. We were honored MKG Exec received this award and were recognized for their vital work and leadership. Their initiative, enthusiasm, and commitment makes the garden happen from leading workdays and operating a CSA, to promoting the garden at events on grounds and at the garden. Please see our list of 2018 MKG Students.
Opening of the First Lady’s Food Lab
Located a few hundred feet from the garden, the First Lady’s Food Lab provides both an indoor space for learning, meeting, and cooking as well an initiative to create food and sustainability programs that connect UVA students with the larger community. With its location close to the garden, the Food Lab provides MKG with an office and meeting space as well as a close bathroom for garden workers
MKG is excited to be part of an inaugural Food Lab program: Food and Health education at Stone Robinson Elementary School. Fourth and Fifth graders rotated through activities at the garden during the Food Lab Launch in October. In November and December, MKG participated in hands on activities in the SRE classroom and at the Health Fair.
MKG produce featured in UVA Dining Thanksgiving dinner
For the second year, MKG vegetables were featured in UVA Dining Hall’s Thanksgiving meals. Students grew and harvested over 100 pounds of lettuce mix, kale, and spinach that were used at the Fresh Food Company’s November dinner. We are excited to work with UVA Dining to have local, fresh and student grown vegetables part of student meals on grounds.
Support from Donors and Community
We are thankful for donations and community support that allows the garden and its programs to thrive, expand, and impact more students and the local community. A donation from the O’Connell Family supports both the garden at large and the internship program. The Jefferson Society provided funds to assist with education and supplies for maintaining our two beehives.
MKG also benefited from donated items this season. With the relocation of the IM-Rec’s Outdoor Rec Center, MKG was able to move and reuse the metal building once used to store their canoes and kayaks. The building now serves as our wash and pack area at the garden. A three bay sink, tables, and shelves from the Old Cavalier Inn were donated by the UVA Foundation.
There are many who supported MKG in 2018. Please see our full lists of 2018 MKG Supporters.
MKG is excited for the 2019 season. Students tabled at the Spring Activity Fair in Newcomb and MKG Exec has been meeting weekly to plan for an exciting spring semester. Three student interns began work at the garden in late January and garden workdays began the first week of February. Hope to see you in the garden this spring!
Steph Meyers, MKG Farm Manager