As April draws to a close, trees are budding and grass is growing – greenery is emerging everywhere. At the end of the month, the UMSU Campus Garden will begin growing greenery of its own to add to the University of Manitoba’s landscape, with a few significant changes taking place this year.

The UMSU Campus Garden is a volunteer-run initiative that promotes community development and local food system practices through gardening. For seasoned gardeners, rookies looking to learn, or simply lovers of the outdoors, getting involved with the UMSU Campus Garden is a fun and fulfilling summer experience. Student volunteers begin seeding produce in the greenhouse at the end of April. Sprouts are then transplanted into garden beds, which are maintained until harvest mid-late September.

Typically, community garden plots in the UMSU Campus Garden, on the corner of Chancellor Matheson Drive and Pembina Highway, are available for community members to purchase for the year to grow and maintain their own produce. However, due to programming enhancements taking place over the summer, community plots in the UMSU Campus Garden will be unavailable this year. Related community garden programming and events hosted by the UMSU Campus Garden including Market Tuesdays, gardening workshops, and the annual Local Feast will also be discontinued this summer. These initiatives are hoped to resume next year after some exciting improvements are made.

This summer, Degrees restaurant will be managing 4,000 square feet of its own garden space in the UMSU Campus Garden. As the only restaurant between Alberta and Quebec with a Level 3 Leaf Certification – the highest level a Canadian foodservice establishment can achieve in reducing its impact on the environment –

Degrees is taking on this new gardening initiative in its commitment to environmental sustainability and supporting local food system practices.

In addition to 100% compostable take-out packaging, minimized water and food waste, and from-scratch baked goods, sauces, and pastries, Degrees is adding to its eco-friendly repertoire by growing and harvesting its own produce. Vegetables grown in the UMSU Campus Garden plots will be collected and used in the restaurant, lending a tasty fresh flavour to daily specials and other dishes Degrees serves.

If you’re around the University of Manitoba campus anytime this summer, enjoy the sun, take a stroll and check out the multitude of plants sprouting in the garden beds. The UMSU Campus Garden brings a splash of colour and diversity to campus flora, with the 4 Corners of the World themed garden near biological science and a variety of gardens on the UMSU University Centre Patio. And don’t forget – when harvesting season comes around, be sure to stop by Degrees restaurant for the freshest tasting produce you won’t find anywhere else on campus.