homeland of fresh produce – Trinitonian

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The community garden, run by both a class and a club, produces fresh fruits, vegetables and a place to de-stress.

Getting your hands dirty once in a while can be the best form of self-care, and Trinity Community Garden is a great place to do it. A class and a gardening club take care of the community garden. Fresh fruits and vegetables grow for everyone on campus to enjoy, and the garden provides students with space to hang out and relax after a long week.

The gardening class is a small class of about 20 people that meets once a week, and the students do all the hands-on work, such as laying mulch and planting seeds. Students also learn the importance of biodiversity, natural growth and other aspects of gardening. The club organizes events to promote the learning of gardening and to make known that the community garden is accessible to all.

The class has officer positions, similar to a club, and most students in the class are also active members of the club. Taylor Crow, senior psychology major and gardening class president, said the garden adds a lot to the campus community and culture.

“I would say it benefits the campus as a whole, not just aesthetically because it’s pretty, but it brings everyone together,” Crow said. “Just once a week, we all come to the garden after a long, stressful week of school, classes, deadlines and everything else.”

Gardening class meets every Friday morning and Aly Baldwin, class officer and junior neuroscience major, said working on the garden at the end of the week always gives her peace of mind.

“I love the outdoors, but sometimes it’s just hard to be outside. […] it’s so hot,” Baldwin said. “Sometimes so many things happen to you, like different classes and clubs and so on, so it’s good to take a second and be out there.”

Swiss chard, lettuce and tomatoes are just some of the crops grown in the garden. However, crops are not the primary reason class and club members work in the garden; they also appreciate the moment of relaxation outside that it provides.

Sally Wyma, a double major in art and senior studio psychology, is the president of the Community Garden Club. She said Trinity students are known to overwork and the garden is the perfect place to take a break from stress.

“There’s definitely a line where you don’t know when to rest and when to keep working,” Wyma said. “Being outside is a huge break where you’re still doing something productive.”

During the pandemic, the Gardening Club took a little break, but the class still took care of the garden. This is the first year that the club is back in full swing. Faith Perry, a junior psychology student, is an officer in the gardening class and said many people have recently embraced gardening and the gardening community has been particularly widespread on campus since the pandemic.

“It’s fun to interact with all the students that come in and see how much interest there is in gardening on campus,” Perry said. “It’s really surprising how many people enjoy gardening.”

Crow said that even when everyone had to test regularly and wear masks, the gardening class was a great opportunity to safely interact with people.

“I think it’s a great space for people to reunite after being away for so long,” Crow said. “The garden was a place where we could all take off a mask and be outside and be with each other.”

On August 26, the Community Garden Club held a paint and spread tote bag event that exceeded expectations. Crow said that when trying to decide how many tote bags to buy for the event, they went with 25-30, thinking that because they hadn’t been a club for a year, the event would not attract tons of people. They ran out of tote bags before the event even started.

Wyma said their first event and the surprisingly high turnout got all officers and club and class members excited about the future of the community garden. She said they also got a lot of attention at the Student Engagement Fair, raking in nearly five sheets full of names and contact information.

Crow said the garden is a safe space on campus and food is for everyone, not just those who help grow it. Gardening is a rewarding experience for everyone.

“At the end [of the semester] we can actually eat all the things that we grow and taste them and try new foods that some people have never tried before,” Crow said. “There’s nothing like seeing the joy on someone’s face when they’ve eaten a radish for the first time.”

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