July 19, 2011
Summer Research Project looked at use of landscaping plants to provide fruit, nuts, and berries
Randolph College students Ludovic Lemaitre ’11 and Adam Eller ’13 worked with William Bare and Karin Warren, both Randolph professors to study “edible landscaping” as part of the 2011 Summer Research Program. Edible landscaping is a practice in which plants that provide shade and decoration are also used to grow fruit, nuts, berries, and other edibles. The group expanded the organic garden on campus to create a nursery where students will tend edible plants that can be transplanted to permanent homes on and off campus.
During the Summer Research Program, Lemaitre wrote a “how-to” guide with information on more than 100 species of edible plants. Eller analyzed soil chemicals around campus to choose sites for new plants. Together, they are using money from the program to expand the campus organic garden to make room for edible plants.
Eller said some herbs will be planted near the dining hall so the College’s food will have fresh seasonings. He also envisions students picking fruit on campus for snacks. “This gives us a chance to demonstrate the viability of edible landscaping,” he said.