Kipos and Sodexo collaborate on hydroponic gardening


Soon, the Sodexo cafeteria will receive a brand new addition to its new addition. Next year, food won’t just be served, but will also be grown in the dining hall.

Kipos, Whitworth’s community gardening club, is in the process of building a hydroponics enclosure in Sodexo’s new addition. The enclosure will yield fresh herbs and spices, which Sodexo will incorporate into the daily menu.

“The goal of this project is to get people started on thinking, ‘Where does my food come from?’ and thinking about it in a more holistic way,” Kipos president Dana LeRoy said.

LeRoy also said he hopes the project will show students that people can grow food themselves, even if they don’t have a lot of land available.

All of the parts for the enclosure were sourced from a local hardware store, with the labor provided by members of Kipos. The enclosure will be ready by the first week of May, LeRoy said.

The concept behind hydroponics is rooted in basic agricultural theory. Plants need water, sunlight and a combination of minerals found in soil to grow. If those mineral nutrients are dissolved in water (water that the roots of a plants are steeped in), then there is no need for soil. That means the plants can be grown anywhere there is sunlight. And there’s plenty of sunlight in Sodexo.

The hydroponics initiative was the brainchild of junior Alden Welsch, an applied physics major who first started experimenting with hydroponics and aquaponics in his home. Another Whitworth student, junior Craig Bingham had developed a similar interest in hydroponics and sustainable living during his time studying abroad in Costa Rica.

This year, Welsch and Bingham live in a house off campus complete with its own aquaponic ecosystem. Rather than flooding the roots of plants with nutrients, small fish lived in the water that the plants were being raised in. The waste from the fish fed the plants, and the plants put oxygen back into the water for the fish.

The Sodexo connection didn’t occur to Welsch until Jan Term. Welsch was inspired when he dined at Sodexo at Gonzaga in the beginning of the year, and  saw that they had hydroponics systems lining all the windows. The lettuce grown in the hydroponic enclosures was being used in the cafeteria’s food.

“I said, ‘Hey, Sodexo caters for us, too,’” Welsch said. “So, we should do this, too.”

Welsch and Bingham put together a proposal, and explained their idea to Jim O’Brien and Dan King, Sodexo managers at Whitworth.

“By the looks on their faces, we weren’t sure if they were on board or not,” Welsch said. “They’re very forward-thinking about what they want to do with the HUB. They were very cooperative on working with us on both budget and logistics.”

The enclosure will cost roughly $800. ASWU provided approximately half the funding for the raw materials, with the other half provided by Sodexo.

The first year will be trial and error, LeRoy said. However, he said, there’s room to expand if it does well. Members of Kipos have considered plans for hydroponic gardens in the dorms, although no formal proposals have been made.

Welsch plans to transfer to Washington University of Saint Louis next year to join the engineering program, so he will be unable to experience firsthand the fruits of his labor when classes resume in the fall. However, he said he hopes the hydroponics initiative will continue to grow after he’s gone.

Lucas Thayer

Staff Writer

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Christmas giving on college student budget

DIY Christmas present ideas to save you the money you don’t actually have

Let’s face it, some of us are broke college students. So when Christmas rolls around, we find ourselves scraping together all the change we can find to buy somewhat acceptable gifts for our loved ones. But this time why not save your quarters and dimes for your late night Taco Bell runs and hand make this year’s Christmas presents? These gifts are little to no cost, and will please almost anyone as they open them Christmas morning.     Prepared   cookies-in-a-jar   recipe  

This recipe, from Pinterest, is perfect for the people who love spending time in the kitchen during the holiday season.

Cowboy Cookies: Start out with a one quart jar. You can use a recycled empty one you have sitting   around. Layer the ingredients in the jar like this: First: 1 ¼ cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, ¼ tsp salt Second: 1 cup cooking oats Third: ¾ cup brown M&M’s Fourth: ¾ cup chocolate chips Fifth: ½ cup brown sugar Sixth: ½ cup white sugar Seventh: ½ cup chopped pecans Pack each level down tightly. I mean it. Pack it in, or else it won’t all fit. To decorate the jar, cut some western bandana fabric into a 6-inch square and place on top of the jar. Tie some brown ribbon around the lid to hold it in place. Attach a small recipe card to the string with these steps written on it: Mix dry ingredients together. Then add 1 egg, ½ cup butter, and 1 tsp vanilla. Roll cookie dough into 1 ½ inch balls and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.     Movie night in a basket

This cheap and easy gift basket can be given to anyone who is an avid movie watcher. Take a large empty tub of popcorn and fill it with boxes of movie candy and popcorn from the dollar store. Add a couple of $5 DVD’s from Walmart, or for a cheaper option, pick up some of the offbeat DVDs at a thrift store. Now you’ve just gifted some Friday night entertainment.     Coffee mug message

This gift is something exceedingly easy to make, and is perfect for all you non-crafty people out there. All you need is a Sharpie pen and a plain, solid-colored coffee mug. Write a personalized message on the mug and then bake it in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. It’s a great idea for all the hot-tea drinkers and coffee lovers you might know.     Easy scented candle

For the people who don’t like cookies or popcorn, candles are an excellent choice. A person can never have too many candles. This is an extremely easy gift that is sure to make the whole house smell wonderful. For this you will need a round, tall, unscented candle that is at least 3 inches in diameter, cinnamon sticks (which you can buy at the grocery store for a few dollars), scissors and a hot glue gun. Measure the candle height and cut the cinnamon sticks to that length. Run the hot glue along the cinnamon stick and stick it vertically to the side of the candle. Repeat to cover candle. Tie some colorful ribbon around the candle to give it a festive look.     Ashlynn Phillips Staff Writer    

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DIY: Create an infinity scarf from old fabric

With the cool, crisp weather setting in, it is the perfect time to bundle up in a do-it-yourself infinity scarf found on Pinterest.

Step 1:      Find an old or new solid-color T-shirt that you don’t mind cutting up. If you want a longer scarf, a large T-shirt works best.

Step 2:      Lay the shirt out flat and cut along the bottom to cut off the hemline. (You won’t need that part.)

Step 3:      Start cutting two-inch wide strips along the bottom of the shirt, which will create large loops. Cut about five or six strips. If the edges of the loops aren’t cut perfectly straight, that’s OK.

Step 4:      Take all the loops and stretch them out. This will cause the sides to roll up and hide the uneven edges.

Step 5:      Lay the loops down on top of each other and take an extra piece of fabric to tie the loops together.

Step 6:      Finally, glue on a flower, or some other sort of embellishment to hide the tie on the loops.

Ashlynn Phillips Staff Writer

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A homemade Halloween

Do-it-yourself costumes for dressing up on a dime

With Halloween coming around the corner, you might be starting to think about this year’s costume. Special Halloween costume stores often run their prices rather high, so why not try making your own this year? These do-it-yourself costumes will definitely be the ones to beat.

Ready to go “Gangnam Style?”

For this costume you will need a blue tuxedo jacket, which can probably be found at a store such as Goodwill. Grab a black fabric marker to outline the black details on the jacket. Next, pull out the cleanest, white button up shirt you have, a black bow tie and some shades.

Meet the New Miss America

If you have access to an old prom dress, all you have to do is find a tiara, some gaudy jewelry, and a bouquet. Then pile on the stage make-up. The last and final piece of the puzzle will be to make yourself a sash from wide white ribbon, with Miss America written in glitter glue.

The name’s Bond, James Bond

Put on a suit (you can most likely find a somewhat cheap one at Value Village), white shirt and bow tie. Can’t tie it? Doesn’t matter. Leave it undone for effect. Add an impressive looking watch, and then summon your most confident, cocky self. That’s it. It’s that easy.

Oompa Loompa Do-ba-dee-doo (I’ve got a perfect costume for you.)

Find an old brown long sleeve shirt and paint white stripes on the collar of the shirt and at the cuffs of the sleeves. Then, strap on some white suspenders. If you don’t have any or don’t want to purchase them, then just glue some ribbon to the shirt to create suspenders. As for the pants, an old pair of baseball pants works great. Pull on some long, brown socks and brown shoes. Next, spray paint a blonde Marilyn Monroe wig green. Finally, paint your face orange with face paint and tape on a few cotton balls above your eyes to create white eyebrows.

The Classic Mummy

For those of you who only have 10 minutes to pull something off, then this costume is definitely for you. Raid your bathroom for toilet paper, wrap yourself up as a mummy, and walk with stiff arms and legs. Squirt some red food coloring all over the toilet paper to look like blood. Just as long as it isn’t raining, this should work great.

Pucker Up Kissing Booth

Find a long box that will cover your head and go down to your waist. Cut out a window in the front of the box and two holes on the sides of the box for your arms. Then, paint the entire box red. Next, tape some kind of curtains in the window of the box. Make a sign that says “Kissing Booth” and glue it to the front of the box. Now it’s time to put on some lipstick and pucker up for some freebie Halloween night kisses. Better yet, charge a quarter a kiss for a profitable costume.

Ashlynn Phillips Staff Writer

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