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Gross but It’s Growth: Cleaning the Cold Storage in the Garden

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Gross but It’s Growth: Cleaning the Cold Storage in the Garden

By Sustainability Interns | February 27, 2015

Main idea: Cleaning up the cold storage building on the outskirts of the garden is hard and really dirty work, but the benefits of having an indoor space at the garden motivates us to continue working.

Why should students care? With the addition of this space, we can: increase open garden hours, create a multi-use indoor space for student’s use (workshops, events, meetings, etc), start a seed bank, hold a small entomology exhibit hosting specific invasive/helpful bug species to the garden, and whatever the imagination can create into reality! Also with this building bringing more people more frequently to the back, this will help to boost progress on our greenhouse cleanup as well.

Along with our greenhouse that I previously blogged about, we have a Cold Storage Building in the corner of the R’garden, it has been untouched for many years and housed years’ worth of agricultural research that was left behind and forgotten.



When you open the big garage door, this is the view one gets.  The garage door is the only source of sunlight into the space, electricity is not available at the moment. This view is far better than what we saw when my team first opened the garage door, its actually a photo of when I did most of the clearing of the space and I was working on sanding the 2 ten foot wood tables left behind. I want to give folks an idea of what the entirety of the space looks like.

The ladder on the far distance goes up to a decent sized loft area, where a lot of research was left behind.

At least 25 Xerox boxes containing degraded soil samples were left behind for us to clean, there was also 8 years worth of rat poop left behind as well. Obviously we were all geared with safety glasses and gloves to clean everything out.


It was so much work to get all the dirty boxes down from the loft space and piled up by the door. Fortino and Nick had to scrunched down in the loft space to move things around.


Once we got all the boxes down, the space started to come together . Check out the view from the loft.

Once we cleared and clean the loft, it was another long process of loading the truck and throwing everything away, we literally filled all the dumpsters!

Cleaning out the Cold Storage Space has been a disgusting and long process, but every time we think about the possibilities, we manage to motivate ourselves to keep going and keep cleaning. Even though it has been a lot of work, the transformation has already been outstanding and rewarding. Thinking about the applications of the space is also really motivating. Once the space becomes cleaner and more functional in terms of lighting and security, we can do so much with the space! Fortino can bring his office out to the garden and be present to have the garden open for longer hours. It can be an added space for students to use for meetings and events. It can be an instructional space for garden workshops. It has a fridge in the back for cold storage of seeds and produce! We will have way more storage for tools, garden literature, and plants!

Oh and we can use the huge tables to have dinner garden potluck parties! The possibilities are endless. Thankfully because thinking about them makes it easier to scrub the gross floors and shelves.

Tracey Walters

Topics: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Gross but It’s Growth: Cleaning the Cold Storage in the Garden”

  1. Amy Carrizosa Says:
    February 27th, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Great article Tracey, and great work to you and your team!


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