Urban Garden Flourishes at Lesley University

Prep Cook Manuel Soto-Soto in the Lesley garden

All across Bon Appétit Management Company campuses, gardens are popping up — from kitchen herb gardens to more ambitious, mini-farm undertakings.

City Garden at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, has taken shape under the stewardship of Prep Cook Manuel Soto-Soto. Manuel, who owned a farm in his native Dominican Republic, approached General Manager Ed Fogarty about growing a little garden from seeds left behind from the kitchen’s cut fruit. With Ed’s encouragement, he started that day, figuring out ways to overcome the challenge of the urban location.

Between the street sidewalks and the brick wall of the dining hall, there was a small area of earth among shrubs that Manuel decided looked promising. He planted watermelon, honeydew melon, red peppers, and a variety of tomatoes. The combination of summer sun and daily care from Manuel has already yielded success. The entire Lesley community has enjoyed the bounty and is eager to see more of his crops on upcoming menus.

City Garden has started out strong, now Lesley just has to find Manuel some more space!

Submitted by Tara Norcross, Director of Operations