The community garden of UWT is still alive and growing.
The Ledger spoke to Meg McCann, one of the leading workers at the giving gardens. She shared how the Garden was still running and how you can get involved.
How did you get involved with the Giving Gardens?
I got involved with the garden after applying for the open Garden Assistant position that was posted this summer. I was hired in June and then was promoted to Garden Coordinator early October.
What did you hope the garden would achieve that was lacking on campus?
I think that the Giving Garden provides an opportunity for everyone on campus to learn about sustainable organic gardening and how easy and enjoyable it is! I love gardening, both for myself and for others.
We donate most of our freshly harvested food to the on-campus food pantry.
I think that it’s great for students who use the pantry to know where a lot of their produce comes from.
What do you think the garden’s underlying goal is?
I think the Giving Garden’s main goal is to provide a service for others. We grow a lot of food, but we also have volunteers who come and help us take care of and nurture the garden.
I see the Garden as a place for students, faculty, or anybody to come and enjoy some time outside, get their hands dirty, and make a connection with something that everyone loves: food.
What are your future plans for the garden?
In the spring, we’re hoping to have our brand new greenhouse up and going. We have plans to use the greenhouse for starting plants from seed, propagating plants, and growing some crops that require a little more heat and humidity.
We’re also hoping to host more volunteer opportunities, build new trellises to maximize garden space and grow more efficiently, as well as partner with more local businesses.
What do you hope people learn from the garden?
I hope that people will learn more about food and where it comes from. I hope that the work that we do can inspire others to start a garden, no matter how big or small, and try their hand at something new and incredibly rewarding.
There is nothing more satisfying than planting a seed, nurturing it to maturity, harvesting the fruit and then eating what you’ve grown.
How can folks get involved?
Folks can get involved by reaching out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by messaging us directly on Instagram @uwtgivinggarden. By the end of the year, we’ll have volunteer time slots available that people can sign up for and attend.
How has COVID impacted the work you all do?
Thankfully, COVID hasn’t had a huge impact on our work. While we can’t host large events or classes, we’ve still been able to keep up our work outside at the garden. We still harvested and donated over 300 lbs of fresh food this year.
Has the way you all have had to adapt to COVID taught you anything?
I think for the most part it has just made me appreciate people and our community more. Human interaction is such an important thing and the impacts of COVID have made me appreciate it even more. Gardening is therapeutic when you’re by yourself, but it’s much more enjoyable when it’s shared with others.