Notre Dame Community Garden 2012

Author: Lisa Wenzel

Locally Grown

The sun is shining, the garden is growing.

Notre Dame Food Services is proud to continue to sponsor the Notre Dame Community Garden along with the Office of Sustainability and University Health Services.  We are pleased with this year’s improvements to the water supply and the continued leadership and energy of Jessica Velazquez in coordinating the garden.

Food in the United States travels an average of 1,300 miles from the farm to your plate.  When you eat locally grown food, you are eliminating the energy used during transport.  Also, fresh produce = better tasting produce. 


The campus community garden is located in White Field.  There are 44 plots and over 70 individuals and departments that work the 44 plots in the garden.  We garden to improve the quality of life for campus participants by providing space to grow fresh healthy produce while promoting an atmosphere of community development and sharing. 


In addition to the members of the University community who are participating this year to grow fresh fruits and vegetables for their families, Notre Dame Food Service’s staff has some great plantings coming up for this summer. 

At Moreau Seminary, Chef Ralph Pieniazkiewicz, CEC, actively designs menus for the residents and guests of the Seminary based on what is ready to pick at the time. 


Notre Dame Food Services shares in a very large space in the garden.  This area has again increased in size from last year.  Under the passionate guide of Chef Don Miller, CEC, CCE, AAC, we have planted 85 tomato plants.  We expect to yield over 1,000 pounds of these fresh tomatoes this year.  You will want to taste these delicious, locally grown heirloom tomatoes in one of our operations in a few weeks when they are ripe and at the peak of flavor.  Try these at Legends of Notre Dame Restaurant and Alehouse Pub in our fresh salads or unique specials.  Taste them in Catering by Design’s summer feature Heirloom Tomato Salad served in Phyllo Cup.  Visit Greenfields where you can treat yourself to these in our nutritionally based menus.  Or, just have some from one of our salad bars in Decio Commons or Café DeGrasta.   Additionally we are growing forty foot rows of baby romaine, arugula, lettuce, cantaloupe, radishes, beans, parsley, and basil.

Like our Michigan neighbors, this year’s early warm season followed by heavy frosts has taken its toll on our strawberry patch.  We hope to treat campus to a few of these delicious berries, but we will not see a substantial crop.  Our hope is to be brimming with strawberries in future years.  Our garden crops are completely planted and now it is just a matter of nurturing, watering, pruning, weeding, and harvesting.

Learn more about the Notre Dame Community Garden: