Community Garden

The Colgate Community Garden is an initiative that provides a fun and warm community for students and others who want to explore the principles of organic gardening.

At the Garden

Photo of Professor Ian Helfant in a white bee suit opening up one of the bee hives.
Colgate’s student beekeeping club, advised by experienced beekeeper Professor Ian Helfant, manages Colgate’s apiary.

Located just south of the campus, the operations of the garden are managed by the Office of Sustainability interns and the Garden Manager. 

The garden produces over 35 varieties of vegetables, fruit, herbs, and cut flowers which are divided between campus dining services, the Chapel House, the on-campus food pantries, the Hamilton Food Cupboard, and the weekly campus farm stand.



Watercolor painting of various garden rows surrounded by a fence.
An early rendition of the garden for the original proposal.

History of the Garden

Colgate’s Community Garden began in 2009 as a research project by Megan Cronin '10, Teddi Hofmann '10, Maria Kryachko '10 and Kate Pavelich '10 for their senior seminar in environmental studies. With funding from the class gift of the Class of 2010, and the leadership of the student group Green Thumbs, it was possible to break ground on the Community Garden during the summer of 2010, on a plot of land adjacent to Newell Apartments.

In 2014, the garden was relocated just south of Colgate's townhouse community to a property that is now owned by Good Nature Brewery.  In 2017, it then welcomed honey bees as residents with the introduction of an apiary under the management of the Beekeeping Club.  2021 saw the garden move to its current location at 1737 Route 12B. The latest space includes highlights from the previous location like the community plots, production rows, and the apiaries as well as new additions such as fruit trees, perennial fruit, vegetable and flower areas, and a compost demonstration area.

Get Involved with the Community Garden

There are endless opportunities to get involved with the work of the community garden for students or for staff, faculty, or greater Hamilton community members. Read more about ways to take part below and contact the Garden Manager if you would like to get involved.

Fresh produce set up on the pale green farm stand. "Colgate Community Garden Farm Stand" is written in chalk on a blackboard behind the produce.
The farm stand features fresh produce and flowers for students and other Colgate community members to purchase with cash or their 'Gate cards.

During the summer and fall growing seasons, the weekly farm stand sells fresh, locally-grown produce to students, faculty, staff and community members on campus. You can expect everything from fruit and vegetables to herbs and cut flower bouquets. The dates and times will be posted on the campus calendar.

View campus calendar





A girl in a yellow dress links arms with one of the Haudenosaunee dancers at the Fall Festival.
Members of the Onondaga Beaver Clan lead fall festival attendees in celebratory dances.

The Community Garden team hosts a variety of events throughout the year to engage the greater Colgate community with the countless learning opportunities within the garden. The end of the growing season culminates each year with the Fall Festival, which includes activities such as acapella performances, pumpkin painting, seed-saving demonstrations, hot pepper and pie eating challenges, corn-braiding with corn from the Three Sisters Garden, and more.  In 2022, members of the Oneida and Onondaga Nations welcomed community members to celebrate the successful growing season by leading Indigenous dancing and singing at the Festival.

Five students wearing beekeeping suits and hoods while posing for a photo.
Summer Sustainability Interns learn the basics of working near the bee hives while tending to the garden.

In addition to vegetables, herbs, and flowers, the garden features an apiary that is home to as many as four honey bee hives. The bees support the pollination of the crops while also producing honey for harvest. The apiary is managed by the Colgate student group, the Beekeeping Club.






Blue sky over the wooden, raised community plots that have green vegetables thriving.
Raised bed community plots allow individuals who may not have garden space elsewhere to get involved with growing vegetables, herbs, flowers, and more.

The garden features many community plots for individuals to manage and grow their own produce. Community plots foster engagement and collaboration within the greater Hamilton community by creating space for individuals to work side-by-side with dedicated students.

Community Plots:

  • Cost $25 per year for a roughly 8'x4' raised garden bed
  • Are available to anyone from Colgate or the local community
  • Include open access to the  site and any needed tools and equipment


Two students in t-shirts show off their red buckets with freshly harvested pumpkins, tomatoes, and more.
Students volunteer to harvest pumpkins, squash, and tomatoes during open volunteer hours.

The garden has many opportunities for students and community members to get involved through volunteering. During the summer and fall, anyone can join for open volunteer hours to assist with seeding, weeding, watering, and harvesting the vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers for the community.

Group volunteer opportunities are available to athletic teams, clubs, offices, or any other group that is looking for an opportunity to get their hands dirty!





For more information about the garden and the various opportunities it presents, contact the garden manager:

Garden Manager
109M Lathrop Hall