tomatillo-closeupLoggerhead Marinelife Center’s Campus Sustainability Initiative is reaching new heights. Or maybe we should say “depths!”

As part of Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s Campus Sustainability Initiative, which began last year in an effort to reduce the Center’s on campus waste, LMC recently started its own Green Turtle Vegetable Garden to create a more sustainable model, reduce waste and feed our herbivore green sea turtle patients!

Located off campus at an LMC staff member’s house, the garden was planted last fall with green peppers and varieties of lettuce. We know it’s not every day people hear about or see a non-profit sea turtle hospital start its own garden. And in fact, it took LMC staff members a few months to figure out how exactly we wanted to go about planting this garden. We had to make a plan first to make sure the garden would be manageable and could be taken care of properly.

First, we needed determine a location that would have enough space and wouldn’t be too far from the Center. Thankfully, one LMC staff member volunteered part of her home garden space for LMC to use. This staff member makes sure to monitor and water the garden every day.

For the first visit last November, a group of five staff members gathered at the garden to begin clearing it in preparation for the planting. We figured it would take an hour or so, but with everyone’s help, we cleared it in just under a half an hour.  lmc-garden-3

The second time we visited the garden in December, we planted lettuce varieties and peppers. As the group of staff members stood together looking at our handiwork, already excited and impatient for the garden to grow and produce beautiful veggies, we decided to take a photo to commemorate the moment and share our glories of gardening by capturing the cute little lettuce leaves. lmc-garden-1

For our third visit in January, we weeded, pulling out the unwanted sprouts so that the vegetables could grow faster and healthier. It was then that we all saw the first peppers, tomatoes and lettuces all grown! Over the next few months, we plan to continue growing and caring for this garden. We’re sure that our green sea turtle patients will be thankful, too.

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For more information about our conservation work, visit www.marinelife.org/conservation.