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Sustainability

Permaculture

The Sustainable Carolina Garden practices a form of urban-based Permaculture. Permaculture is a design system-based concept for sustainable agriculture that focuses on the triple bottom line business approach: people, planet and profit. It utilizes the natural relationships between crops, integrating natural pollination and pest prevention to achieve a self-sustaining crop system. The process maximizes energy and water efficiency while reducing input requirements by mimicking the systems found in nature.

These beds protect against erosion and compaction from foot traffic, allowing the soil to remain loose so that plants can grow big and strong. Annuals are typically grown in our raised garden beds, allowing us to plant a variety of crops season after season.

This system takes rainwater and makes it drinkable by allowing it to flow through a Biosand filter and black Berkey filter, which remove suspended solids, bacteria and heavy metals. Fill your water bottle and stay hydrated while you volunteer in the garden.

Garden plots are an opportunity for students to tend their own area of the garden and grow their own produce. There are 15 raised beds in the Garden- please reach out to a Garden Guide to learn more and get involved.

Our “food forest” demonstrates the practice of agroforestry in permaculture. Agroforestry aims to mimic a natural forest ecosystem by growing mainly edible forest plants in plant guilds to support one another in pollination, nutrient availability, and pest prevention.

Hugelkultur, German for “hill culture”, consists of layering rotting wood, sod, compost, topsoil, and mulch to create a garden bed with a perfect moisture retention and nutrient release rate.

These plants attract pollinators to our garden. The worldwide overuse of pesticides has harmed many populations of pollinators so it is important to create helpful habitats, such as this garden, to bring them back.
Our greenhouse allows us to grow year-round and start sensitive seedlings before the growing season begins by maintaining a reasonable amount of heat and water vapors so that warmth and humidity is maintained for ideal germination and plant growth.
We practice food composting by combining a 3:1 ratio of food scraps and dried, woody materials. Compost makes an excellent natural fertilizer when mixed into the soil in the SCG.
 
Wetlands act as nature’s water purification system by filtering out chemicals and pollution that pass over the impermeable surfaces like our sidewalks before allowing the water to seep back into the underground water table.
This vernal steam remains dry at several points during the year, but will temporarily fill up with water to provide a natural habitat for distinctive plants and animals. It allows for the safe reproduction and development of amphibians as well as their primary food source of several insect species. 
 A circular raised bed with a keyhole-shaped indentation on one side. The indentation allows gardeners to add compostable materials into a composting basket that sits in the center of the bed and helps keep the soil moist while continually providing nutrients to the plants. 
These plants are used to create natural dyes for coloring fibers and textiles. Conventional clothing sources often include man-made dyes which deplete our planet’s natural resources. Help our environment by avoiding synthetic dyes and turning to natural dyes.
A method of growing plants in a water based, nutrient rich solution. Hydroponics does not use soil, instead the root system is supported using rockwool cubes. Our hydroponics system is used to grow heads of lettuce and other produce that is sold at the farmers market and in the dining halls.
These porous concrete pavers allow rainfall to be captured and to percolate into the ground. This reduces stormwater runoff and recharges groundwater, while providing a walkway through the garden.
It has been proven that students tend to have increased concentration and are more motivated, inspired and willing to learn when they are outdoors. If you would like to reserve the outdoor classroom, please email sustainability@sc.edu.
 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.

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