Throughout the Butterfield Residence Halls complex, students constructed raised garden beds known as “hugelkutur.”
Underneath the piles of dirt are wood and decaying mulch, which retain water and provide the plants with nutrients. This process eliminates the need for irrigation and fertilizer.
Students involved in Wesleyan’s WILD Wes organization (Working for Intelligent Landscape Design) and the Butterfield’s Green Hall residents already planted herbs, wildflowers and vegetables on the hugelkultur.
In addition, WILD Wes is overhauling a sloping hill near the Summerfields Dining Hall. The organization, currently led by Tennessee Mowrey ’14, Rina Kremer ’15, Nathaniel Elmer ’14 and Roxanne Capron ’14, is working on the project this summer.
WILD Wes is replacing a trampled path with stairs and planted terraces that follow the principles of permaculture. The diverse terrace gardens will prevent soil erosion and attract helpful insects while yielding herbs, berries and vegetables.