Moore Herb Garden Project Grows Out Of Campus Sustainability Efforts

  • Victoria May
  • Victoria May
  • Victoria May
  • Victoria May

For Immediate Release
April 14, 2011

(Philadelphia, PA) As part of continued efforts to make Moore’s campus more environmentally sustainable, SAGE Dining Services, which supplies the College’s Dining Hall, started an herb garden to produce fresh ingredients to use for their menu. On Moore’s creative campus, the effort has also grown to include a graphic design student who crafted a brand campaign for the project.

SAGE Food Service Director Anthony Condo and Executive Chef John Starett started the garden by recycling an old salad bar cart putting it to use as an incubator for the seedlings.  In March, they planted cilantro, dill, basil, lavender, parsley, oregano and chives. By mid April the plants had grown to shoots of 3 to 4 inches.

As the weather gets warmer, the cart will be moved to the small outdoor courtyard adjoining the Dining Hall. Condo hopes to expand the courtyard garden to plant tomatoes, cucumbers and other items. “Once the herbs are ready to harvest, we’ll start marketing them on the menu in items like dill salmon,” Condo said.

The project was soon incorporated into an undergraduate project. Victoria May, a senior graphic design student in the Graphic Design VI class, was assigned to create an “identity” campaign for the herb cart. She developed banners, a logo and vinyl for the sides of the cart. She’s also making a poster series about the project and plans to include these in her senior thesis, which will be featured in the 2011 Senior Show.

“I want to bring attention to the project and help show how Moore’s dining services are making an effort to be green and healthy,” she said. “This project is a good opportunity to do something positive for the school and see my work being used.”

The garden is one of a growing number of eco-friendly efforts at Moore. In 2005, the College launched an Environmental Task Force to raise awareness of and promote responsible eco-friendly practices through educational programs and sustainable building initiatives.

Last year, dining services joined the effort by implemented the use of reusable dinnerware. They also seek out locally sourced ingredients through SAGE’s “From Here, From Near” program, which advertises the names of farms and ingredients on menu cards placed around the Dining Hall.

“More and more schools are getting on this trend,” Condo said. “It’s important because there is the environmental factor and you’re helping the local economy. The food doesn’t have to travel as far to get here.”

Other “green” initiatives in place at Moore include the installation of energy efficient windows, a student-run Art and Book Supply Swap, a campus wide recycling program for plastics, paper, bottles and cans and required training for all new students and faculty on the use of and disposal of art and design materials.

On the academic side, sustainability has been an emerging theme in both design and art classes. The BFA and MFA programs in Interior Design, for example, include a focus on sustainability, socially responsible design and green design. This spring Moore also introduced a three-credit undergraduate course, Art and Ecology: Beyond Green, an in-depth, interdisciplinary exploration of contemporary art practices relating to the environment and sustainability. The class included a six day intensive international experience studying at La Ceiba Grafica an ecologically self sustained graphic arts center in Coatepec, Xalapa, Mexico.

Students can expect to start seeing fresh herbs in special dishes served in the Dining Hall as early as May. Victoria May’s designs featured in the 2011 Senior Show will be on view in The Galleries at Moore April 27, to May 14, 2011. The Galleries are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.moore.edu

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Moore College of Art & Design educates students for inspiring careers in art and design. Founded in 1848, Moore is the nation's first and only women's art college. Moore's career-focused environment and professionally active faculty form a dynamic community in the heart of Philadelphia's cultural district. The College offers nine Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees for women. A coeducational Graduate Studies program was launched in summer, 2009. In addition, Moore provides many valuable opportunities in the arts through The Galleries at Moore, a Continuing Education Certificate program for adults, the 91-year-old acclaimed Youth Art Program for girls and boys grades 1-12, The Art Shop and the Sculpture Park. For more information about Moore, visit www.moore.edu.
Published on April 14th, 2011