Nestled between Luther Hall and W.M. Hooker Jr. Pavilion sits the home of campus’s newest organization: Union University Garden. There, you will find a garden in its developing stages, bordered by cracked gray stones. However, what sits on that lot is more than just a garden—it’s a vision.
Heather Dockery, junior psychology major and the organization’s founder, said she hopes the garden becomes something that serves the community, both by providing a source of fresh vegetables and by helping students and faculty appreciate the craft of gardening.
“Our mission is mainly for Union,” she said. “When we grow the vegetables, we want to put them back into our own community. This way, Union’s environment can have fresh, organic produce for pretty cheap instead of having to go to Kroger or other grocery stores.”
The club will grow fresh produce and sell it to students on designated weekly “Harvest Days.”
Since the produce will be sold fairly cheap to students, profits will go directly to purchasing more seeds and gardening supplies. The club aims to maintain a cycle of putting back into the Union community.
In addition to selling the produce, members will learn about the process of gardening and the impact healthy foods can have on their lifestyle.
“The goal is if you’ve helped for at least a semester, you’re going to leave with the knowledge of how to have your own garden someday and basic nutrition facts of why we’re eating what we’re eating,” Dockery said.
In order to grow the best produce possible, the organization is teaming up with Michael Schiebout, assistant professor of biology, and others from the department.
Dockery founded Union University Garden as an extension of Cody and Melody Curtis’ work in the campus garden. The Curtis’ began the project two years ago but have recently found themselves needing assistance with the work following the birth of their first child.
Since Dockery had gained experience by working in the campus gardens at Liberty University prior to coming to Union, she was interested and excited to take on the role of organizing the club. Not only does Dockery hope to bring quality produce to her school but also cultivate a sense of healthy community here at Union.
Dockery hopes to see the garden grow into more than just a place to plant vegetables. If all goes as planned, the area surrounding the garden will include picnic tables and benches to encourage groups or other clubs to meet and fellowship.
The first interest meeting for Union University Garden will be Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. in the Bowld Student Commons. All faculty, staff and students are welcome to attend and join.
For more information on the organization, visit its Facebook page.