N.J. -- Patrons of Mercer County Community College's popular Conference
Center are reaping the rewards of a new garden this August.
Center Chef Joe Chell and his staff are now harvesting cherry tomatoes,
beans, peas, carrots and a multitude of fresh herbs, and finding
clever ways of incorporating them into their menus.
The garden began
this spring, when Conference Center General Manager Frank DiBella
and Administrative Assistant Alanna Gutchigian planted some seeds
indoors that Gutchigian brought home from a student trip she took
to Italy last year.
With plans to
make better use of a sunny area just outside the Conference Center's
back door, the pair did their own planting, with some advice from
MCCC faculty member Amy Iseneker, who teaches Horticulture and Plant
Science. Also assisting were members of the college's facilities
staff, who installed a water source and tilled the area.
Today the colorful
garden, with its huge sunflowers lined up against the back wall
on white lattice, is a welcome sight to Conference Center visitors.
No herbicides, but only coffee grinds, eggshells and other organic
fertilizers are used on the garden, which is about 40 feet long
and 15 feet wide.
of Bordentown, is an MCCC graduate currently pursuing a B.S. in
Hospitality Management from Fairleigh
Dickinson University's Management Program offered on Mercer's
West Windsor campus. Her Italian basil seeds love their new home
in America, and are a milder-tasting basil than most American varieties.