Garden Fresh

Garden Fresh

Garden Fresh
By Dru Kee- Food Service Director

Garden Fresh Camp OndessonkWe are proud to share that Camp Ondessonk is entering its fourth year of sustainable, on-site farming. A project that started with a couple of grow lights on a table in the dining hall has blossomed into a system that includes a greenhouse capable of growing year-round produce.  After getting a head start on the growing season, we transfer young plants into our 1,400 square foot garden fresh plot every spring. Starting them indoors allows us to harvest fresh vegetables for our summer camp salad bar, side dishes, and entrees. The garden also serves as a weekly work project site for our teen programs, Counselors in Training, and Teen Leadership Camp, whose participants learn about good agricultural practices, sustainable farming, and the enjoyment of growing their own food.

Camp Ondessonk’s 2018 summer campers, staff, and volunteers will have a chance to enjoy seven different kinds of tomatoes – including cherry, heirloom, and hybrid varieties, five cucumber varieties, two kale varieties, three bell pepper varieties, two different lettuces, and rainbow chard. Borage and bronze fennel serve as companion crops bringing in a variety of pollinators for our heirloom and historic varieties of fruits.

Camp’s on-site gardening efforts are just one component of a goal to use local produce whenever possible. Our farm to table initiatives includes business partnerships with Little Egypt Alliance of Farmers (LEAF – a consortium of regional growers), and two local growers of high quality produce – River to River Farms and Sandburn Junction. If you would like more information about our farm-to-table initiatives, please contact Dru Kee, Food Service Director. dru.kee@ondessonk.com

2018 Camp Garden Plant List

  • Tomatoes – Blondkopfchen (organic), Cherry Roma, Crnkovic Yugoslavian, Italian Heirloom (organic), John Baer (organic), Salvaterra’s Select, (organic) Martino’s Roma (organic), Early Girl, Fourth of July, Better Boy
  • Cucumbers – A&C Pickling (organic), Early Fortune (organic), Long Fellow (organic), Salad Bush, True Lemon
  • Peppers – Stuff Enuff, Great Stuff, Ruby Red
  • Kale – Red Russian (organic), Scarlet (organic)
  • Lettuce – Forellenschluss, Green Oak Leaf


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