Garden projects reap harvest of Niagara College expertise

Niagara College

A garden project is flourishing at White Oaks, thanks to Niagara College’s Research & Innovation division.

On August 12, Niagara College’s Research & Innovation division unveiled its progress on a sustainable garden project assisting one of the closest neighbours to its Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus – White Oaks. The event involved students and faculty from Niagara College, as well as representatives from White Oaks.

NC faculty and students, in partnership with White Oaks Resort and Spa, spent the summer converting a former parking lot and grass strip on the White Oaks property — 1,152-square-feet of property — into a garden used to grow food for Grow Restaurant. The new dining experience that recently opened at White Oak aims to bring culinary art, education, wellness and nutrition together, and features a sustainable, primarily plant-based, menu.

School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies professor Tanya Blankenburg, who led the project, said it was a valuable opportunity to create a garden with her students. Recent Horticultural Technician (Co-op) graduate Meghan Beattie and second-year Horticultural Technician (Co-op) student Mackenzie Haines worked on it daily, researching and implementing the best methods of soil conditioning and plant care methods to develop a sustainable food garden.

“Everyone on the team from both sides has gone above and beyond to make this project a success. My students were able to design and build this garden from the ground up and see the final result,” said Blackenburg. “This was a fantastic educational experience which I can’t be more thankful for. The relationship between Niagara College and White Oaks just keeps growing as we look forward to the future.”

Read more about Research & Innovation at NC here.