Landscape architecture graduate student Kyle McEnroe won a national award for his design of Cal Poly Pomona’s culinary garden. McEnroe received an Honor Award at the American Society of Landscape Architects’ Annual Meeting on Sept. 13.
The culinary garden is a collaborative effort by the College of Agriculture and The Collins College of Hospitality Management. Students from both colleges volunteer in the garden, and the fresh vegetables, herbs and fruit it produces are used in dishes served at The Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch.
“We wanted a productive garden, but it had to be aesthetically pleasing,” McEnroe says. “It’s tractor friendly and works well with foot traffic too.”
The location of the garden, adjacent to the restaurant, presented McEnroe with the additional challenge of preserving the view of the valley for diners. To make his design work, he opted for dwarf fruit trees and placed them on the garden’s downslope, which has the added benefit of providing good drainage for the tree roots.
The garden’s hands-on emphasis was a pivotal part of his experience.
“I learned so much by doing it, everything from surveying the property to volunteering and getting my hands dirty,” McEnroe says. “And I’ve made some really good friends with Ag and hospitality students.”
McEnroe says the project never would have come to fruition without the support of many others on campus, especially Dan Hostetler, professor and chair of the plant sciences department, and Andy Feinstein, dean of The Collins College.