2 Minutes With … is a series of short features to introduce us to the passions and interests of Lawrentians on and off campus. Find more 2 Minutes With … features here.
Story by Isabella Mariani ’21
Phoebe Eisenbeis ’21 is an advocate for the natural world both in and out of the classroom. As an environmental science major and a gardener in SLUG (Sustainable Lawrence University Gardens), her life at Lawrence University is deeply rooted in the earth.
Phoebe has always been intrigued by gardening and the environment. She recalls visiting farms on school field trips and going to farm camp in her home state of Minnesota, where she got to experience typical farm chores.
A new hobby blooms
It all came together at the outset of her freshman year at Lawrence when she learned about SLUG. The campus organization’s beliefs in inclusivity and sustainability were a good fit for her.
“I felt a really immediate connection to it.” says Phoebe. “Like, this is so cool that this is on campus and that it’s kind of open to everyone.”
SLUG encourages all Lawrence students to come to garden hours to help out regardless of their gardening experience. It’s all about the community effort to sustainably and interactively grow food and learn more about the earth in the process.
Phoebe started going to SLUG meetings and soon signed up for garden hours. It wasn’t long before her academics in environmental science began to nourish her gardening interest.
“The thing I feel almost drawn to about environmental studies in general is the aspect of sustainability and self-reliance, and a tight-knit understanding and relationship with the natural world,” Phoebe explains. “I feel like they’re really correlated for me to go deeper into my understanding of how the garden works.”
SLUG is also a place for personal growth. The garden supports Phoebe’s personal beliefs in sustainability and living connected to nature.
“As it is right now, the garden embodies a lot of my beliefs of getting people outside and interacting with the food, and how the food they eat grows and how to harvest it.”
Growing her passion
For Phoebe, the key is to strengthen her understanding of gardening with her knowledge of environmental science.
“I feel like if you just want to garden and be outside and do all those things, that’s wonderful and great in its own way, but I also want to supplement it with academics.”
As Phoebe continues to work with SLUG, she hopes to ensure the garden’s future with more students getting involved and in touch with their food and their world.
“I feel really passionately about making sure the garden continues for generations,” she says. “Something I want to bring out about it more in my time, as I maybe will get to be a leader in the garden, or just as I get older and know the garden more, is to make it more accessible and more widely known. Just that anybody can do it and be a part of it.”
Isabella Mariani ’21 is a student writer in the Communications office.