Meet the team!

This summer, we have two lovely people managing the garden with the assistance of 3 grRReat interns. Meet the team! 

Aiden Campbell and Cate Bentley, co-managers:
Aiden, native to Fort Collins, Colorado, is majoring in Theater Arts. Cate, native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is pursuing a history major at Lawrence University. Both are going into their junior year, and have been a part of the SLUG fam since 2012. 


Jake Valente, pictured center, intern:

Jake is studying as a Russian/French double major. Hailing from Elgin, Illinois, (home of the plant that makes those big sweeper truck things!), Jake is interning this summer in SLUG, working about 10 hours a week. Also pictured are Gus Murphy and Ridley Tankersly, two members of the SLUG Summer Meal Plan Co-op, who volunteer weekly down in SLUG.



Tracy Johnson and Will Gislason, interns:
Tracy is from St.Louis, Missouri, and is looking to major in Linguistics and Russian Literature. She is also interning in the garden, waking up as early as 5am to come help the managers down in the garden! Also pictured is Will Gislason, SLUG’s final intern. Will is SLUG’s upcoming financial manager for the school year, and is majoring in both Environmental Studies and Biology. Both have dedicated a good part of their summer to helping the beautiful garden grow! 



Pictures from the week of 7/14-7/19 :)

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A group of lovely volunteers during nightly volunteer hours, which occur from 6pm-8pm.

A group of lovely volunteers during nightly volunteer hours, which occur from 6pm-8pm.


SLUG: Summer Lazing Until Gardening!

Happy summer!

It’s a beautiful one here in Appleton as Sustainable Lawrence University Gardens enters July of our summer season. We have a lot to catch up on, so let’s get started.

The summer has been amazing so far- so many beautiful growing opportunities (both personal and agriculturally) for the garden. We have a full crew this summer-two managers, Aiden Campbell and Cate Bentley, (as well as the expertise of next year’s co-manager, Abigail Hindson before she jetted off to Argentina) and a few summer interns! Tracy Johnson, Will Gislason, and Jake Valente are all putting in 10+ hours a week helping the managers and leading summer garden hours, which are below. Hours occur daily from 6am-10am, as well as Tuesday/Thursday from 6pm-8pm. We’ve been inviting the campus staff, faculty, and student summer residents to come get dirty with us! Here is our poster:


In addition to garden hours, we also compost weekly, collecting compost from Bon Appetit Catering, Copper Rock cafe, Harmony Cafe, and Aspen Cafe. It’s a beautiful thing, staying connected to the Appleton community with a sustainable purpose. It’s so lovely!

So far, we’ve encountered a few tricksters, but have all of our beds planted! When you run a sustainable and organic garden, a lot of different factors are at play. The garden sees it’s far share of woodchucks (all named Buttons,) rabbits, weeds, voles, bugs, and turtles. We recently found a whole spattering of turtle eggs in our wood-chip pile! We do not use pesticides or herbicides, but instead use alternative methods (like planting certain greens in a line vs randomly seeding to trick bugs,) to combat the few, and totally normal, obstacles we encounter in our space. Cate calls it “Guerilla Gardening”. It’s very chic. :)

As of right now, we have many things growing and doing beautifully:

  • Tomatoes, (green zebra, san marzano, brandywine, and suzanne varieties),
  • pole beans
  • beets
  • peppers
  • peas
  • greens (kale, mizuna, chard, tot soi, arugula)
  • zucchini
  • herbs (basil, thyme, parsley, oregano, mint, chocolate mint, terragon, catnip!)

and introducing our new perennial food forest:

  • asparagus
  • berry bushes (buffalo berries, black berries, raspberries)
  • trees (peach, apple, pears)

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We will continue to post sporadically and keep the interwebs updated on what’s happening down in the garden. We are looking forward to giving staff tours, tours to Appleton businesses, harvesting herbs and peas for staff sales, continuing our relationship with Riverview Gardens, and breathing in the beautiful rain that we’ve gotten so much of! :)

Thank you for reading, and enjoy the summer! If you have any questions, email: 

Much love,
Vernon and Veronica, Resident Voles of SLUG

Babe Aiden getting ready for early morning garden hours!

Babe Aiden getting ready for early morning garden hours!


A panorama of Tracy working in the sun.

A panorama of Tracy working in the sun.

The view from Memorial Hill.

The view from Memorial Hill.

The inside of our 90ft hoophouse!

The inside of our 90ft hoophouse!

SLUGJ: Satirical Ladies Unloading Garden Jargon

Composting: A How-to Guide

Disclaimer: you will only understand these jokes if you have composted.  If you haven’t, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?

1.  Wear multiple rings and sandals.  If you like callouses and broken toenails, pay specific attention to this step.

2.  Only compost during blizzards.  We had a great time last Monday during the blizzard as we did not have the truck and had to lug the compost across icy, traffic-ridden, death roads.  Lots of character and ego-building there due to heavy buckets, staring drivers, and heavy souls.

3.  Squeeze as many people as you can into Truck #5.  Try to avoid driving the truck into the Fox River…that already happened and it won’t be as funny the second time.

4.  Make sure there’s an odd number of people.  That way, you can have a cheering section.

5.  Come hungry.  Sometimes there are whole strawberries (just ask Aiden).

6.  We only use frozen woodchips.

7.  Always wear your Sunday best.  You never get muddy, or smelly, or wet.  Everything always goes perfectly.

8.  If you’re trying to impress someone you’re interested in, bring them composting for a great first date.  You’re bound to look super graceful dragging a 50-pound bucket full of rotting food through the snow.

9.  We only have two rules: try your best, and then do your best.

10.  We compost every week day (that’s Monday to Friday, folks) at 3:45 p.m.  MWF at the Loading Dock (behind Phi Tau), and T-Th in the garden.

Looking forward to getting dirty with you! 



Love from,

Cake and AppleKale


Photo credit: SLUG


Purslane – the Clark Kent of Weeds

Purslane is the Clark Kent of weeds. It hides there in plain sight with its unassuming looks as just another green thing in the garden, but once brought into the kitchen – BAM! – it is the greatest ingredient and sometimes even saves the day. I learned about many plants while working in the garden this summer, but I have a special attachment to purslane. I had been hearing about this amazing purslane soup for the better half of the summer and finally decided to look into recipes using the secret delicacy. I entered the green into Food Gawker (as you do) and more recipes than I thought would popped up. I settled on purslane pancakes ( ).

Best. Choice. Ever.

Although purslane does not carry a strong taste, the plant offered a light flavor that s enjoyed by all for dinner that night. I could have used spinach or kale for the meal, but why not use something that I can find for free in my own backyard?! Purslane saves the day and acts as a great substitute when there are none of the usual greens in the fridge.

I also consider purslane my personal superhero because, when I am far away from home (as far away from India!), purslane never fails to show up and provide me with a little comfort of home.



Purslane creeping along and blanketing the garden with its protection.


Throwback Tuesday

Anyone remember these good old days in 2005? How the garden has grown and changed!garden 2005



A few of our favorite bugs, courtesy of Annica. First person to identify them all wins a free eggplant!IMG_0503 IMG_0510 IMG_0546 IMG_0588


The Beez

We sampled some honeycomb after checking on the bees a few weeks ago. IMG_0519

Our bees are busy at work, and we’re excited for the fall honey harvest. It’s a good time to be a SLUG beekeeper.