OSU starting a community garden

Maddie Sturges, Multimedia Contributor

A community garden is coming to Oregon State University. Located by the Avery House and put on by the Student Sustainability Initiative, the project was created to help with the Human Services Resource Center to help them gather produce for their pantry. The garden has been in the works for several months and the Initiative hopes to begin planting in Spring next year.

Daniel Elliot, HSRC’s Food Pantry Coordinator, said one of the main reasons the garden was made was to provide fresh produce for the HSRC food pantry, where he works.

“The basic idea is to transform food systems, educate students and public, and their efforts directly impact food insecure community members,” Elliot said.

The garden has been at the Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture for the past two years, but is in the works to be moved to the garden space near Avery House.

“We have the space and support from OSU to create this garden,” Elliot said.

Kat Crane, Growing Food Security Facilitator, said the garden is a production garden that serves the HSRC food pantry, which serves OSU students and local community members who are experiencing food insecurity.

“This is a way to improve folks access to locally and sustainably grown produce,” Crane said.

One of the purposes of this garden, besides growing food, was to create a vibrant community space where people feel like the food they are growing is their food, that they are using their own hands to grow food they will soon eat.

“The individuals which the garden serves also have a say in what is grown,” Crane said.

The garden is being maintained by GFS and it’s intended that any student or community member with an interest in gardening will be able contribute each week during the weekly work parties.

“Anyone who is interested can contribute to the community garden,” Elliot said. “There are current efforts being made by instructor Andrew Millison’s Permaculture class to come up with sustainable garden layouts.”

Getting involved with the garden is easy for anyone interested. One of the leaders of the community garden is Jacob Parsons. Parsons is the current Growing Food Security Garden Coordinator and has been working with a group of individuals to make this community garden a reality.

“A central part of this position is to encourage student engagement,” Parsons said via email. Over the course of fall term, Parsons held weekly garden work parties at the current Oak Creek garden. During the work parties he teaches students the importance of organic gardening and how they can participate in their OSU community food system, the community garden.

Though the garden is not scheduled to be planted until spring of this school year, students can still get involved now if they want to.

“We will be having a garden planning party during the beginning of winter term, where we will drink tea and coffee, eat snacks, and pick out seeds from a variety of seed catalogs which will be then be planted in the garden that season,” Parsons said. “As the weather gets more favorable for gardening we will be resuming regular garden work parties in the space.”

With things still in the air, students interested should keep an eye out for any announcements via SSI’s Facebook page.

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