Community Garden Open to Alfred Residents

Garden plots within the Alfred State Community Garden and heirloom seeds are available, without cost, to interested Alfred residents.

The one-acre Community Garden is located on Route 21 behind the Alfred State Vet Technology Building. It contains 103 plots and has a nearby greenhouse, apiary, and compost area. Created in 2010, the garden has 20 gardeners and more than 30 student volunteers who are currently working on fall harvesting, planting, and planning.

“The purpose of the Alfred State Community Garden is to provide students and community members with hands-on experiences in sustainable agriculture techniques,” said Alfred State’s Chief Sustainability Officer Julian Dautremont-Smith. “The aim is to produce food locally and to reduce campus waste production by providing a site to compost food waste.”

Original plans for Alfred State’s Community Garden were designed by technical writing and surveying engineering technology students as part of a project-based learning assignment. These students plotted and mapped the area needed for the garden using state-of-the art GPS systems then translated their plotting to a topology map and a garden plot sequence map. The project exemplifies Alfred State’s unique learning model which is based on sustainability, civic engagement, and project-based learning.

The Community Garden operates on donations from seed companies and generous donors and is the work of dedicated Alfred State faculty, staff, students including: Sandra Dennison, marketing director, Auxiliary Campus Enterprises and Services;  Calista A. McBride, associate professor in English and Humanities; Barbara Pierce, keyboard specialist, Office of Student Activities; Constance E. Pennisi, assistant professor computer imaging and architectural engineering technology; Dr. Terry Tucker, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and the executive director of the Center for Organic and Sustainable Agriculture; and community volunteer Buffy Turner.

To learn more about using the Community Garden and volunteering, contact Sandra Dennison at or call (607) 587-4069.

Community Garden volunteers

Community Garden board members and Alfred State faculty and staff teamed up with Alfred State Honors Program students recently to harvest tomatoes before the season’s first frost. From left, board member Sandy Dennison, student Courtney Cardinal, board member Calista McBride, and Jonathan Hilsher, director of civic engagement and student leadership programs.