Thanks to the dedication, determination and hard work of a large number of student, faculty, staff and community volunteers, the Garden has grown from a concept to a thriving reality. This chronology provides a brief overview of its development:
● Idea for an organic garden articulated.
● Search conducted for a suitable location.
● Location found: A North-facing slope, northeast of the Maier Museum.
● A staff member, a faculty member, and a Lynchburg resident began clearing Sericea lespedeza , an Asian legume gone to weed, on the site. Students soon joined in clearing efforts and installed temporary fencing of bamboo and lightweight deer netting prior to planting and harvesting vegetables, herbs, and flowers during spring and summer growing seasons.
● Hiatus due to construction of the new track and field in the vicinity of the Garden.
● A summer organic gardening internship was created for ten students who completed a number of projects: constructing a chicken coop for 44 day-old chicks, digging out a pond, expanding the garden beds, holding two workshops for the community in Permaculture and Indigenous Knowledge principles and practices, completing permanent fencing, and conducting preliminary research for the establishment of an apiary program.
● Tom Burford, nationally known fruit tree expert and neighbor of the College, was invited to provide consultation for the creation of an organic orchard. Tom taught six classes on campus on various aspects of orchard development from mid-September 2009 to late March 2010.
● The Organic Garden crew attended a series of garden- and orchard-related workshops at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello.
● An apple-tree grafting workshop was held on campus.
● A nursery was established in the Garden.
● The Garden supported two internships and an independent study during the school year.
● Seven apple trees were planted in the orchard.
● Planning continued for the introduction of bees and ducks.
● The first group of perennials was planted for the development of a food forest.
● Garden Community Hall was established in Webb Hall dormitory.
● 13 students were enrolled as summer interns.
● 11 ducklings arrived on June 1.
● Completed projected included a 250-gallon rain water system, rose arbor, benches, new chicken yard, greenhouse, and pond along with growing vegetables, herbs, flowers, berries, and more perennials in food forest.
● 15 apple trees were integrated into existing orchard.
● Food forest was expanded.
● New duck pond was established.
● New duck house was built.
● 4 students were employed as summer research fellows to increase edible landscaping around campus and expand the plant nursery.
● Expansion of permanent fencing started.
● New garden entrance and bridge built.
● Association with local beekeepers to manage Randolph's apiary program
● Collaboration with local college to help start vegetable growing and chicken raising programs under a student governance.