September 2011, Volume 15, Number 4

COVERSTORY


Green Oasis Rises in Miami

Downtown Miami’s concrete jungle just got greener, thanks to Miami Culinary Institute’s tasty new addition to the urban landscape: a state-of-the-art edible organic garden.

Firmly planting itself as the greenest food producer in the region, MDC’s Miami Culinary Institute (MCI) is implementing a “seed to table to soil” approach that relies on local food sources, eco-friendly growing and responsible disposal methods.

The garden yields fresh produce in accordance with certified organic growing methods. Fruits, vegetables and herbs from the garden will be used in the classroom by MCI students and also will grace the plates of diners at the Institute’s new world-class restaurant, opening this fall. Viable kitchen remains will then return to the garden as nutrient-rich compost, rendering it truly self-sustaining.

The garden is living proof of MDC’s commitment to its mission of molding students into responsible global citizens while also promoting environmental sustainability.

The College recently celebrated the garden’s grand opening to great fanfare and raves of attendees.

“This is a wonderful, inclusive endeavor,” said Miami Herald writer Nancy Ancrum. “All sorts of people from the surrounding community were made to feel that this is their garden.”

Designed by Natural Greenscapes, a South Florida eco-friendly organization rooted in organic farming and edible landscapes, the garden stands out for both its design and function. “It’s outfitted with a subirrigation system that uses minimal amounts of water to keep it vibrant,” said Diane Sugimoto, who is a co-founder of Natural Greenscapes.

Even more significant is the long-term benefit of the garden’s temporal design. Its four areas correspond to different seasons, educating students about what’s fresh when. This consciousness about local food sources will then translate into restaurants producing smaller carbon footprints by taking advantage of the resources available right here at home.

“The more we educate students to have that sensitivity for the planet, the better off we’ll be,” said Natural Greenscapes co-founder Gabriele Marewski.

— MR


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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, or genetic information. Contact the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs/ADA Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for information.