Developing a Vegetable Garden/Orchard in the Lingnan University Campus

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Project General Information

Project Code

TG14A9

Principal Project Supervisor

Abstract

As an alternative to tackle the dual challenge of climate change and peak oil, "transition towns" have been popularized in the last decade in Europe. Community-visioned, community-designed and community-implemented plans based on the principles of permaculture are now spread in Europe.

This proposed pilot scheme is to develop, in selected sites of Lingnan’s Tuen Mun campus, organic vegetable gardens/orchards and ecological structures, which would involve growing a variety of vegetables, rice, and fruit trees, using permaculture methods. Students will learn and practice organic farming on a day-to-day basis, as a component of community service learning for designated courses, or as student activities. These are pedagogical efforts to make some difference in students’ lifestyle and outlook.

At the same time, the vegetable gardens/orchards will be a demonstration to the public of Lingnan’s efforts in building local ecological resilience to global warming and food insecurity. The process will be documented to make learning resource materials including videos.

This pilot scheme will also study the feasibility of turning the campus into a “transition campus”, which will be a fine example to demonstrate Lingnan’s liberal arts values.

Project Status

Budget Year

Commencement Date

05/2014

Completion Date

08/2015

Outcomes & Publications

Outcomes / Impacts

Outcomes:

Three sites in the campus were allocated for growing over 100 varieties of vegetables, herbs and cereals.

About 50 students from CUS112/3112/219/3219/3409 with a service learning component participated in the project, produced videos and wrote essays.

A Lingnan Gardeners Group with about 100 staff, students, alumni and family members was set up. A monthly Lingnan Gardeners newsletter was produced since Dec 2014. A collection of newsletters and related writings entitled “Strolling the Lingnan Garden”, was produced in bilingual printed and digital copy, uploaded to: http://commons.ln.edu.hk/ln_gardeners_book/1/

The project received much media attention and was well publicized in the campus. Interviews were made in Hong Kong, mainland China, South Korea, Thailand, and Austria.

Impacts:

Participated students from CUS112/3112/219/3219/3409 have positive feedback in this experiential learning: having a better understanding of the importance of food, the threats from climate change, and the possible actions to improve on issues of food sovereignty and food safety. The service learning component will be continued for these courses.

The videos and the publications can be used as resource for students of Lingnan and other tertiary institutions. Community organizations such as Tuen Mun Yan Oi Tong and the Hong Kong Institute for Gifted Students have sent their members to the Lingnan Garden to learn about the experience.