Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Gardening as a Spiritual Practice

I am Jessica Paguirigan and I have been involved with the Campus Community Farm for about three years now. In a few weeks, I will be graduating from St. Mary's College of Maryland. I will be leaving this beautiful campus, but I will take away so many memories with incredibly-inspiring people. A lot of things about this campus have shaped who I have become as a person, but I would like to take up this blog post to talk about how the Campus Community Farm has influenced me.

My introduction to the Campus Community Farm was seeing a student-made documentary about the farm at TFMS night during my first year. At this point, I had started to become enraptured by the activist and environmentalist platforms raised by so many of the students here, and was inspired to join the members of the farm in their contribution to creating a sustainable community.

Before long, I began to realize everything that gardening at the farm actually meant to me. Gardening was not just a way to enrich the sustainable principles of the campus and an environmentally-friendly practice, but a spiritual teacher and counselor. Quite honestly, I feel that gardening has taught me the virtues and methods for understanding how I must grow and forge ahead in my future. 

I could go on for hours about everything that I have learned from the garden, but I think that this is best portrayed in the website that I have created for this very purpose at Please visit the site to know more about my own perspective on gardening as a spiritual experience! Here is one of the videos you will see on the website that visually reflects upon the lessons I have learned while gardening.

I want to thank everyone who I have interacted with at the farm, and those who started the farm a mere five years ago for being a part of this crucial experience of my life. I have learned a lot about the earth, about the true definition of community, and about myself. I look forward to learning even more about farming, and hope to spread the joy of farming to others in the future!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The farm is winding down

The farm is winding down in a sense but that's due to fact that its staying colder more often and the harvest season is just about over. Due to a number of factors, there isn't any pictures, but there is something that should be shared. Its a short video created in September 2011 about the campus farm titled  'Sunshine, Water, Dirt: The Story of the Campus Farm':

Also see the campus farm's facebook page, and posts about us on the SMCM admissions tumblr here and here. Also we had an old blog on blogger as well. That's all.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The farm four days ago...

I've been busy with stuff but now I get to post pictures of time at the farm on Thursday before sunset. Enjoy! 

And this one later in the day of the sunset looking over the pond for funzies:

Friday, November 1, 2013

The farm before the rain

No one from SEAC was at the farm yesterday, but here's some pics of the farm on Thursday when some onions were planted. Those animals eating the veggies can be kept away (hopefully)!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Kale Chips!

For all you Martha haters out there, you should still check out this website and figure out how to make kale chips! The perfect, healthy, vitamin-packed snack. Crisp, salty, and delicioso! Martha even gives you five quick and easy alternative flavors to plain old salt.

Now, if you've always wanted to grow your own kale, or have wondered how we grow it at the farm...well, it's easy.  Kale is part of the cabbage family, and it is a very resilient leafy green that can withstand cold weather, can be grown through most seasons, and resists many diseases. Hot weather and cabbageworms are its enemies. Gentle World provides a good overview about how to grow kale in pots and in the garden.  When harvesting, snip the leaves from the outside rather than plucking.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

PRESTO! Basil to Pesto.

Basil is a very important herb in cooking, but fortunately for everyone, basil is super easy to grow! You can even grow it all year long as long as you keep it in a sunny, warm spot indoors or outdoors.  If you grow it outdoors, make sure that the basil gets enough water. If you grow it indoors, make sure that the basil is getting at least six hours of sunlight.

You can start basil from seed after the last frost of the season, or you can buy a seedling from Home Depot if you aren't into starting from seed.  Maintain your basil plant by plucking off the larger leaves so fuller and stronger leaves can grow in their stead.  Make sure that flowers do not grow on your basil plant- if they start to bud, pick off the flower and the surrounding leaves.

And that's it! Caring for basil is super easy and super rewarding. Having fresh caprese (fresh basil, fresh tomato and fresh mozzarella) sandwiches is THE BEST! If you have more basil than you know what to do with, dry it out to have some dried basil on hand, or freeze it, or make some pesto! Here's an excellent, blogger-tested pesto recipe. It takes five seconds to make and it's yummers. Enjoy! P.S. we have basil at the   Campus Farm :)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

El Tomate = Salsa

This week's post is going to be very lazy, and about something super delicious.  One of the greatest crops to plant in your summer garden is tomatoes because 1) they are delicious, 2) they're so useful in the kitchen, and 3) they're low-maintenance.

The hard part about planting tomatoes is deciding which type of tomato you want.  There are several varieties that serve different purposes.  You may want cherry tomatoes for simple snacking and salad-making, slicing tomatoes for your hamburgers, or perhaps you are in need of cooking tomatoes because you are obsessed with Italian food and need ridiculous amounts of red pasta sauce.  Don't be afraid to try out different tomato varieties!

When deciding upon a tomato to plant, remember that tomatoes are vines and need some type of support to help them grow upwards.  Some tomato varieties are indeterminate type tomatoes (meaning they have a longer period of time in which they produce fruit, and they grow taller)- they will need to be planted next to stakes and trained to wind around the stalk.  Other tomato varieties are determinate type tomatoes (shorter fruit producing time period, can be grown with a stake or a tomato cage).
staking method
caging method
This link and this link will give you easy steps about how to grow the best tomatoes in town.  Just in case you get too antsy, just remember to plant your tomatoes in a sunny space and don't over water (once every 5 days at the most).  When picking transplants, don't buy overgrown plants because they will have poorer root systems and will take longer to give you produce.  (P.S. if you want summer fruit, it's probably too late to start from seed. Typically, one would start seedlings in a greenhouse around March)

NOW. If you have a crap ton of tomatoes, or you just love salsa, try out this recipe!

4 C. chopped tomatoes (drained in streamer)
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 lime, juiced (if you roll it on the counter before you cut it, it helps get the juice out)
some fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (for peppers, set aside seeds, then add as many as needed for desired hotness)
1 serrano pepper, finely chopped