Elise Blum is an Academic Records Processor and a member of the ISA Green Team. This is the first in a four-part series on sustainability and study abroad.
Here at ISA, we do what we can to keep study abroad green. In keeping with Austin, Texas style, members of the ISA Green Team began cultivating the “ISA Garden of Eatin’” in 2011. We believe a good garden starts with great soil (from our in-house compost) and a slightly green thumb. With a little elbow grease and dedication, we learned to garden together. By 2013 we grew enough produce to fund the garden completely on the resale of our great herbs and veggies to our fellow ISA’ers. “Café Isa” in our office has become a hot spot for foodies and greenies alike.
This year we are taking our summer crops seriously. With the help of local farm, Johnson’s Backyard Garden (JBG), we purchased some beautiful vegetable plants that are Texas-friendly. Each season JBG hosts a transplant sale for Austinites in an effort to encourage home gardening and sustainability.
Our theme for the garden this year is “Pickled and Canned” – planting vegetables and herbs that can be easily preserved for the off season. We’ll be planting dill, cucumbers, sweet peppers, carrots, tomatoes, green onions, and pole beans. True to our Texan roots, everyone at ISA is a big fan of pickled okra. The spicy and sweet blend helps us keep our wanderlust at bay, and encourages us to keep growing for the next season of beautiful culinary possibilities.