Upcoming Events


 open house & fundraiser


3:00-6:00 in the Geneseo Community Garden, Roemer Arboretum

This event will be held to introduce ourselves to those in the campus & community who may not have visited the garden.  There will be music, treats, schmoozing, and perhaps even a glimpse of our arty new entrance gate.  We also will be holding a raffle of local foods, homemade goods, and gift coupons donated by merchants--all of this to raise money for our new and more deer-proof fence!


Past Events


Geneseo Community Garden Informational Meeting

6:00 PM in Welles 26


"Cowberry and Canticle: Two Experiences of an Organic Farmer"


Geneseo Food Project Fellow Matt Lapennas will share his experiences as a full-time organic farmer on two CSA farms (community supported agriculture). While earning his degree in History at SUNY-Geneseo (2007), Matt worked for two summers at Canticle Farm in Olean. After finishing his degree (which culminated in a fascinating honors thesis comparing the competing definitions of efficiency offered by proponents of industrial and sustainable agriculture), Matt took a position at the 50-acre Cowberry Crossing Farm in Hudson, NY. At Cowberry, he managed a 3/4-acre biodynamic garden, worked with the farm’s livestock (110 laying hens, 150 broiler chickens, 20 turkey chicks, 12 beef cattle, 12 sheep, 8 pigs, and two horses), helped run Cowberry’s CSA program, and sold the farm’s produce and meat at a nearby farmers market.

7:00 PM in Welles 26



"Local, Organic, and Fair"


Activist, author, and long time organic farmer Elizabeth Henderson will speak on the effort to build a just and sustainable food system based on locally grown organic food and the principles of domestic fair trade.

4:00 PM in Newton Hall 203 (Free and Open to the Public) 



"How a Garden Works"


Recent Geneseo graduate and organic farmer Matt Lapennas will discuss the fundamentals of gardening and how to apply them in the newly established Geneseo Community Garden.  Topics will include soil fertility, weed and insect control, cold-frame construction, trellising, and more.  If previous Geneseo Community Garden events are any indication, Matt’s talk will be followed by a lively discussion full of wit, wisdom, and collective head-scratching.

4:30 PM in Welles 24 (Free and Open to the Public)



Geneseo Community Garden Work Party 


 Come gather in the garden to build cold frames, initiate our composting effort, spread manure, and more.  The garden, which is located toward the back of the Roemer Arboretum, will grow food, herbs, and flowers for community food pantries and campus dining halls.  No prior gardening experience is necessary.  We will have gardening tools available, but if you have any of your own, please bring them.

10:00 AM 



“Growing Youth, Growing Community, Growing Food: The Rochester Roots School-Community Garden Project”




Jan McDonald, executive director of Rochester Roots, will speak on her organization’s innovative efforts to develop organic vegetable gardens in schools and communities that are directly affected by poverty. By supporting collaborative efforts to produce homegrown food in low-income urban areas, Rochester Roots is working to build local food economies, healthy lives, and healthy communities. The practices they teach include the cultivation of diverse crops and heirloom vegetables, the encouraging of beneficial insects, companion planting, crop rotation, cover cropping, composting, recycling, mulching, and seed saving. Jan’s presentation will include an overview and images of the innovative Rochester Roots School-Community Garden Project while inspiring you to integrate sustainable growing principles into your own vegetable garden and support a local food economy.

 7:00 Newton Hall 204



Geneseo Community Garden Open House


Come see the GFP's Community Garden and meet the people who created it.  From the Roemer Arboretum entrance, follow the left path clockwise until you see signs marking the community garden.  In the event of severe weather, we'll be meeting in Welles 138.

Wednesday, Sept. 17 @ 5:00 


“Things I Grew This Summer”

  Only two percent of Americans make their livelihood from farming, but soon that may be changing.  Come listen to a panel of Geneseo students who chose to work in agriculture this past summer -- at a local organic farm, in the “Willing Workers on Organic Farms” (WWOOF) Program, at a Finger Lakes Winery -- and find out how their experiences are surprisingly practicable for liberal arts college students.  Hear their stories, see their slideshows, and ask questions!
Monday, Sept. 22 @ 7:00 Newton Hall 201 (Free and Open to the Public) 


“The Massachusetts Avenue Project"


Diane Picard is director of “Growing Green,” an urban, organic agricultural training program that develops life-skills and provides meaningful work to low-income, at-risk youth in Buffalo, NY.  Learn more about these initiatives not only from Diane but from participants in the program who will talk about their own experiences.  Once again, hear their stories, see their slideshows, and ask questions!

Wednesday, Oct. 8 @ 6:30 Welles 123 (Free and Open to the Public) 



“Organic Greenhouse Production & Local Economies”




What might a truly local, organic, and post-petroleum food system look like?  Todd Lighthouse, a local grower with an academic background in ethnobotany, knows a lot from experience: growing practices, alternative energy, developing bioregional economies, and seed-saving.

Wednesday, Oct. 22 @ 7:00 Welles 123 (Free and Open to the Public) 



"Building a Community Supported Market"


One of the Geneseo Food Project’s newest and most exciting initiatives is a Community Supported Market (CSM), launched in conjunction with the South Wedge Farmers Market in the fall of 2008.  This innovative experiment in the development of a local, just, and sustainable food system will be the subject of an upcoming panel discussion entitled  "BUILDING A COMMUNITY SUPPORTED MARKET." 

The panel will feature CSM organizers Stephanie Aquilina and Yolanda Gonzalez, as well as South Wedge Farmers Market co-founder Chris Hartman, who has worked closely with the GFP on this project.  Steph and Yolanda, who established the CSM as part of a joint senior-year Environmental Studies internship with professors Jordan Kleiman (History) and Ken Cooper (English), will share their experiences in launching and refining the project over the course of its first year of operation.  Chris Hartman will add his thoughts on the project and its role in the South Wedge Farmers Market's broader effort to build a viable local food system in the Rochester area.  To fill in the back-story, Jordan Kleiman will begin with a brief account of the history of Community Supported Agriculture, the model upon which the CSM is based.  Ken Cooper will introduce the panel.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 25th @ 7:30 Newton Hall 203 (Free and Open to the Public) 



"From Smorebrod to El Monte:  Experiences of a Wandering Farmer"



"The Incredible European Organic Farming Adventures of Matt Lapennas"

Ever wonder what it might be like to travel through Europe working on organic farms?  Here’s your opportunity, as the Geneseo Food Project is bringing Matt Lapennas back to campus to share his experience as a “WWOOFer” (a volunteer with World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms).  After earning his B.A. in History from Geneseo in 2007 and working on two organic CSA farms in the U.S., Matt embarked on a seven-month farming tour of Europe, moving from one WWOOF host-farm to the next.  Needless to say, he has plenty of fascinating stories to share, as well as a slideshow.  The presentation, which is free and open to the public, was organized by the Geneseo Food Project with support from the Environmental Studies Program and the Departments of History and English.

Wednesday, April 29 @ 7:00 PM in Welles 121



Death match 1870: Farmer Slack vs. Farmer Snug"


Now that you know something about modern agribusiness, have you wondered who ever thought it was a good idea?  Geneseo Graduate Erin Crissman, now a curator at the Farmers Museum in Cooperstown, NY, will take us back to the nineteenth century and the origins of what was then called “system farming.”  Many of our (agri-)cultural assumptions and practices can be traced to this transformative era.

Thursday, October 22 @ 7:00 PM in Welles 123



 Undead Gardens:  A Halloween Tour


Join us for a special meeting of the Geneseo Community garden group, in Roemer Arboretum, as we enter the season of darkness, death, and decomposition.  You’ll learn about the biology of decay in composting (bring your own vegetable scraps, if you like), along with cover & other winter-hardy crops still living even amidst the coldest weather.  We’ll also plant & mulch garlic that will emerge along with the daffodils next spring.  Please dress appropriately for the weather; we’ll provide apple cider & doughnuts to keep everyone warm!

Wednesday, October 28 @ 4:00 PM at the Campus Garden (Roemer Arboretum)



"Biodiversity in Action:  Lessons Learned in India"


During the summer of 2009, Geneseo students Molly Kerker and Colin Waters spent time at two farms in northern India.  Navdanya, the seed university of food activist Vandana Shiva, focuses on the study of seed preservation and indigenous rights.  Devbala organic farm put Navdanya's theory into action, utilizing traditional farming techniques to foster biodiversity.  In addition to describing their experiences in India, Colin and Molly will discuss the importance of preserving biodiversity through seed banks, seed saving and appropriate planting and cultivation practices.

Thursday, November 5 @ 7:00 PM in Welles Hall 123





 Informational Meeting

5:30-6:30 Welles 119

If you don't know anything about the Geneseo Community Garden, please join us for a short meeting to learn more!  We'll explain how our organization works, and toward what ends.  You don't need to have any prior gardening experience -- just the desire to learn more, and perhaps to get your hands dirty.  We farm a dozen large beds in the Roemer Arboretum, a short walk from campus but much farther in terms of its restfulness.  Learn what it's like to eat food that you have planted, composted, weeded, harvested, and cooked!