Post Classifieds

Applied Ethics at Whole Village

By Nichole Currier; For The Clock
On October 7, 2014


Last week, six students of the Applied Ethics class, taught by Dr. Maria Sanders here at Plymouth State University, took a trip to the Whole Village Family Resource Center to have a discussion on food ethics and how they are applied outside of the classroom. Whole Village is a community based, non-profit organization that has dedicated itself to assisting and educating families on a variety of subjects. The class went down to have a discussion with Mrs. Lisa Ford, and discuss what Whole Village has been doing in terms of food ethics.

Along with classes to help educate families in terms of food budgeting, healthier eating, and how to prepare a variety of meals, Whole Village has started a community project called a Collaborative Garden. Ford plays a large part in this project, spending hours in the Collaborative Garden tending to the plants, working with various volunteers, and teaching children basic knowledge of the food that grows there as well as how to harvest it. She explained how the Collaborative Garden is unique in the sense that it consists of many volunteers who work together to keep the garden maintained, each of them being paid in the healthy food they help plant and harvest. “It’s many resources coming together to make it what it is,” said Ford, in regards to the garden. 

Students of the Applied Ethics class took a great interest in the various plants that grew there, being unable to identify many of them at first glance. Ford continuously asked students to identify a plant based on the pieces of it they could see growing out of the ground. Each time there were a few guesses thrown around, but it was apparent none of the six students were confident in their answer. After asking for a volunteer, Jennifer Negron, a senior at Plymouth State University, stepped up to harvest the first vegetable of the afternoon. 

Many of the students were shocked to find that they had not been able to identify the vegetable as a carrot. After producing a few more vegetables, students were even more surprised to find they didn’t know nearly as much about these vegetables as they thought they had. Carrots were harvested that varied in colors from orange, to red, to yellow. Though many students were hesitant, each of them was encouraged to take a vegetable and try it. “Literally, they taste the same,” said Benjamin Biery, another senior of Plymouth State University, after tasting a red carrot compared to an orange one. Student Eri Kamatoku could only agree as she sampled the vegetables for herself.

A few more vegetables were taken from the garden, many of which the students had never had the opportunity to try before. Ford explained that this is exactly how a class with her youth group would have gone. The children would not only be learning how to identify and harvest the plants, but trying them as well, being encouraged to make healthier food choices by utilizing these vegetables in their daily diet.

Ford explained how the harvested food is used both as payment to the volunteers for the work that they have done, and in the classes at Whole Village to teach families how to utilize their resources for healthier food choices. 

This project brought up a few different ethical considerations for the Applied Ethics class. Students listed the ethics involved with the Collaborative Garden, such as sharing, fairness, equality, honesty, and hard work. Students Madalyn Stevens and Samantha Jones got into a lengthy discussion about the ethics of giving food away to those in need versus having them work to earn it. “It doesn’t cost anything,” said Madalyn. “Just time. And that’s something everyone should be able to give.” 

Dr. Sanders brought up points regarding disabled people in need of food, to which student Robert Disbrow said, “They can still do work to earn the food they’re getting.” Samantha Jones agreed,  “Some people may be able to do more than others, but that’s not what’s important. It’s about equal effort.” It came to a group consensus that, while the garden showed great human compassion by educating families on healthier food choices for no profit, there should always be some give back for people to earn the food and knowledge they’re being provided with.

The Collaborative Garden is a great example of human ethics being applied in the real world. It shows people working together to create and care for a large garden, and then continuing on by using the produce they grow to educate families on healthier living. The Collaborative Garden is always looking for more volunteers to help in both the garden and the classroom, and can be reached at (603)536-3720.

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

More theclockonline News Articles

Recent theclockonline News Articles

Discuss This Article




Plymouth State produces top LASIK New York doctors that specialize in lasik and laser refractive eye surgery.


Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Please Select Your College/University:

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format