Fresh, campus-grown veggies free to students
“Everybody has the ability to grow things even if you don’t have an outdoor space for yourself. Say you live in an apartment, you can grow things in little pots or grow things in recycled materials,” said Taylor Crow, senior psychology major.
Crow is president of the Trinity community garden club, which tends to a blooming garden of squash, kale, arugula, green beans and many more nutritious vegetables for students to harvest and hang out at. The community garden is located next to Storch Memorial Building and is managed by the gardening club and the students of Gardening in South Texas (BIOL 2191), a lower-division biology course. Members share a passion for agriculture and sustainability and hope to encourage others to do what they can to be conscious of their environmental footprint and better the world around them.
Stephen Lucke, adjunct professor, said he focuses on three main goals in teaching the gardening course. Overall, he emphasizes achieving global sustainability through local efforts.
“I like to think global, act local. On the global level, the United Nations has what are called the SDGs, the sustainable development goals. Goal number two is zero hunger, goal number three is good health and well-being and goal number four is quality education,” Lucke said. “We want to help people achieve food security and food sovereignty by teaching them how to grow their own food, so those are three pretty big goals we implement into the students through teaching and action.”
The community garden encourages all Trinity students to enjoy its serene green space on upper campus. Grace Johannes, senior economics and political science double-major and member of BIOL 2191, hopes students feel welcome to hang out around the garden and enjoy the crops which grow there.
“We have a lot of kale, so if anybody wants kale or wants to try any of our food, it’s always an open invitation. So come by, try some kale, check it out, spend some time in the garden,” Johannes said. “We have picnic benches that we just added this year, so that’s a great place to have lunch, hang out, get some nature time that’s a little bit different from anywhere else on campus. I encourage people to come see what we have going on.”
While the garden is managed by the gardening class and club, all the vegetables grown are open to the public. Anyone is welcome to walk up to the space and grab any produce that looks appealing.
“That’s always our plan, just to invite people to come and explore the beds and see what we’re growing,” Crow said. “We’re working on doing some better labeling, we’re going to paint some rocks pretty soon to show what we’re growing. We just put up a new bulletin board in the garden about two weeks ago, so we’ll probably include some instructional how-to-harvest tips. Anybody can go and take what they want, it’s for everyone.”
In light of recent renovations and the flourishing success of the garden, Lucke plans to hold a small celebration. He extended the invitation to all Trinity students to join on May 5, 12-12:30 p.m. for a ribbon cutting at the community garden.
“I feel like a pretty common misconception is that people think the garden is only for the people in the club or only for the people in the class,” Crow said. “But it’s supposed to be a community space for everyone at Trinity, staff, faculty, students, people in surrounding neighborhoods, it’s for everyone.”