About Us


Our mission and vision

Our current food system—dependent as it is on global capitalism and cheap oil—is not ecologically or socially sustainable. The SSLUG Garden is dedicated to being a part of the solution through demonstration of agricultural alternatives that work with the local ecosystem.

The mission of the SSLUG Garden program is to create a living educational community space where students and interested community members have the opportunity to learn how to grow food sustainably.


In 2008, a small band of dedicated students (SSLUG: Students for Sustainable Living and Urban Gardening) in the Sustainable Communities program, led by graduate student Ian Dixon-McDonald, established the "SSLUG Garden." With the blessings of Dean Stevenson (Social and Behavioral Sciences) and Facility Services, a formerly neglected site was transformed into a thriving vegetable garden and community gathering place.

To ensure continuity of leadership and vision for the Garden, a Campus Organic Gardener (COG) was hired in April 2011 through a Green Fund grant. The position is currently funded by Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. The COG is responsible for management of the SSLUG Garden, volunteer coordination and outreach, and works closely with Graduate Assistants in the Sustainable Communities and Community, Culture and the Environment programs to engage First Year Seminar students in hands-on participation in growing food on campus. Any student interested in gardening, as well as students in other programs with a service-learning component, are invited to participate. The garden serves as an outdoor classroom that provides students a unique opportunity to work as a team applying the principles of sustainability in a real-world setting.

Our sustainable gardening practices

Our gardening practices include the use of:

  • rainwater harvesting
  • sunken and raised beds
  • cold frames
  • composting
  • intercropping and companion planting techniques
  • open pollinated heirloom crop varieties
  • locally adapted seed saved and shared with community gardeners