Just outside Parsons House, a garden grows. The work of Williams Sustainable Growers (WSG), a student organization formed last spring and now totaling more than 100 members, the 12 raised beds are a continuing source of vegetables, ranging from lettuces and tomatoes to culinary herbs, kale, squashes, beans and heritage wheat. The project has provided fresh, healthy produce to the student growers, local food pantries and dining services.
The garden serves a larger purpose too, connecting the young gardeners with the earth they cultivate and engaging the larger Williams community by highlighting the relationship of food culture and environmental issues and raising consciousness on campus about the consequences of individual and collective dietary choices.
Supported by the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives, the Center for Environmental Studies and College Council, the WSG project seeks to stimulate discourse within the curricula of multiple disciplines about agricultural diversity and sustainability. As WSG founder Jarret Nelson ’10 says, “With each bite of food, people participate in networks that reach far beyond campus.”