Collins School spices things up with new herb garden plans

By Sean Smith

A team of four students and a plant science professor are
planning to build an herb garden, which will serve culinary and
educational purposes, next to the Collins School of Hospitality and
Hotel Management.

Produce from the garden will be used as ingredients in certain
dishes at the Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch. The garden will also
provide a learning environment for both hotel and restaurant
management and agriculture students

“The garden will serve as a laboratory for both Collins School
students and agriculture students,” said Dan Hostetler, chair and
professor of the plant sciences department. “We decided to get
together during the winter and [build the garden], and we are in
the initial planning stages right now.”

The team, led by Hostetler, consists of landscape architecture
graduate student Kyle McEnroe, third-year plant sciences student
Ryan Connelly, third-year agronomy student Sarah Henry and
fourth-year horticulture student Deanne Ecklund.

The garden will be located just east of the Collins School on a
piece of land roughly an acre in size and will grow various fruits,
vegetables and herbs.

Produce that is not used by the restaurant will be sold in the
Farm Store, but the intent of this garden goes beyond making a
profit, says Connelly.

“It would be a bonus if we can make some money at the Farm
Store, but [Hostetler] would mainly like to merge the agriculture
department and the Collins School,” said Connelly. “The garden can
provide produce for [the Collins School’s] kitchen, but can also
provide an interactive environment for agriculture students.”

Previous attempts at constructing a garden have been made in the
past, but none have succeeded due to planning issues and other

“The pest problem was a big issue that stopped [past attempts],”
said McEnroe. “Every couple of years, it seems that someone would
whip up a design, but nothing would ever be installed.”

Connelly said they anticipate similar complications in
resurrecting the herb garden, but their design will be able to work
past these obstacles.

“Water, pests and soil will be the biggest issues once the
garden is installed,” said Connelly. “Water is always an issue on a
farm that you have to deal with, but we already have a main water
supply. We’re also designing the garden so the tractors don’t have
to drive on too steep of a slope.”

The team plans for the installation process of the garden to
begin this summer and hopes the garden will be open by the next
fall quarter.

The garden will also serve as somewhat of an attraction for
patrons of the Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch, who will be able to
view the garden just outside of it.

“The goal eventually is to make the garden similar to [culinary
gardens in Napa Valley], where you can walk around in the garden
with a glass of wine while you wait for your food,” said Hostetler.
“I want to get this done.”

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