As the climate crisis faces the current generation, young adults around the globe have striven to bring change to both their communities and the world at large. Activists like Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and Greta Thunberg have captivated the nation, using storytelling, art, and protest to not only convey the severity of climate change but also empower young people to protect the environment. With the offering of Environmental Symposium, widespread participation in the Boston Climate Strike, and student-led efforts to advance the Green New Deal, it is evident that the Concord Academy community is passionately involved in the movement. In conjunction with these efforts, one new club is hoping to actively further sustainability on campus.
According to Emmanuel Andrews ‘21, co-head of the brand-new Gardening Club, its mission is to “take initiative in order to make [CA] a little bit more sustainable […] by growing crops such as spices, herbs, and leafy greens.” Due to the obstinate nature of New England winters, however, indoor growing will be the focus until the weather is warmer. The club recently received a generous donation: a hydroponic apparatus that can incubate up to 70 plants at once.
“Our hydroponic system exemplifies our first steps to […] make these goals a reality,” added Andrews.
One of these goals involves collaborating with the Stufac in order to integrate fresh, locally-grown greens into everyday meals at CA. Utilizing hydroponically-grown vegetables would not only foster a connection between the community and the source of its meals, but also reduce the carbon footprint of food delivery to the school. Hydroponic systems are spatially compact and energy-efficient; growers can establish them in close proximity to customers and distribution sites, which eliminates fossil fuel consumption involved in long-distance transportation.
While meetings have been somewhat infrequent, rest assured— lots of work has transpired behind the scenes. Gardening Club plans to sell refreshments at Winterfest, and the profits will be directed towards the purchase of seedlings for the hydroponic system. The club hopes to use feedback to decide what the community would like to grow, as well as allowing CA students and faculty to tend to the plants once the hydroponic station has been implemented.
According to cohead Loki Fondeur ‘21, Gardening Club ultimately “[aims] to give back to the school and make it much greener.”