Botanists are not the only people growing plants at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL). Each year, the Laboratory makes community garden plots available to our students and employees. Members of the CSHL community have the opportunity to grow organic fruits, vegetables, and flowers at the northern end of campus, near the beach ball volleyball courts.
The garden opens during May each year. CSHL horticultural staff assist community garden members with growing challenges, and pest and pathogen control. They also provide tools, water, and soil amendments such as compost and mulch. Gardeners often team up to care for garden plots together, helping crops survive in the summer when many employees tend to go on vacation and travel.
The garden is operated under organic principles, with no conventional pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides permitted. Certain plants, such as tomatoes, are at high risk of carrying diseases from previous seasons into the garden. To minimize that, CSHL starts tomato seedlings in our off-site greenhouse, which are then transplanted to the garden in the spring for whoever wishes to grow them. Other popular crops include corn, squash, peppers, and assorted herbs.
The community garden shows that the Laboratory campus is more than just a workplace. It is a shared space where people can learn all sorts of new things—including how to grow their own organic produce.