On Monday, February 2, 2015 the students who have worked in the community garden at the LUISS Viale Romania campus had their first harvest.
"We are thrilled," says Benedetta Borghini, in her third year of Political Science: "We gathered spinach, lemons and mushrooms and we are very pleased with the results; we harvested a lot more than we expected."
The LUISS garden was inaugurated on November 26, 2014 and is tended to every day by a group of around twenty people, above all the students at LabGov, the Workshop for the Governance of the Commons that has promoted and organized the Community Gardening project. "There is always something to do, and you are constantly learning new things, from digging up the plants to using ashes as a fertilizer and insecticide," says Benedetta: "It is an entirely new experience for me. Every day has been memorable, from the first time that I stepped foot in the garden to today: this project is unique both personally and educationally as it teaches us how to share, how to work together and how to coordinate things day by day."
"One of the most important things in these months of working in the garden has been that I’ve had fun," adds Martina Rotolo, in her second year of Political Science: "Getting here early in the morning and doing something so different from my usual routine is really invigorating."
"We eat together, we save, we share advice on exams and other problems, we stick to a healthier and greener lifestyle, we plan the future to convince others to get their hands dirty and to have fun alongside us, and we build offline relationships that are more solid and long-lasting,” explains Professor Christian Iaione, coordinator of LabGov: " We want to be a driving force of change, innovation and teamwork."
The students will organize a small dinner using products from the first harvest, “a time to eat together, but also a symbol acknowledging those who have worked in the garden," explains Erika Munno of LabGov. It is the first test until the next harvest of the year. This one, which will take place in March, will be bigger and will feature an event to get the entire university involved.
"The idea that we at LabGov are trying to convey is that anyone can help out with this garden; it is an open space. For this reason, one of the goals over the next few months will be to open it up to other students, as well as to faculty and LUISS staff, as has been pointed out by the General Manager Giovanni Lo Storto, who came by to say hello this morning."
LUISS students, associations, staff and neighborhood residents can contact LabGov directly, to work together and help build a network that takes care of the garden as a common good.