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Office of Sustainability Community Garden

Posted by: Jennifer Stevens | June 26, 2014 | No Comment |


At the corner of Coming and Wentworth Streets, the Office of Sustainability Community Garden can be found in the Political Science courtyard. Sustainability launched the garden program in 2012, but the now dormant Urban Agriculture Club built the previous garden bed in 2010. With the help of a few offices on campus, and a motivated Garden Program Coordinator by the name of Lexa Keane, the community garden was rejuvenated.


Keane, a May 2014 Political Science and Environmental Studies graduate of the College, was debating taking a gap year and was craving some kind of hands on experience. She felt like she had reached her capacity to digest information in a classroom setting, and wanted to be empowered in other ways. Keane remembers looking at the old garden bed as a way to fill the void that classes couldn’t satisfy, and began the garden program for the office.

The ultimate goal of the Garden Apprenticeship Program is to integrate farming and gardening into the College’s curriculum – to create solidarity and empowerment around being connected with the earth and our food systems (even in an urban setting). The program, open to students, faculty, and staff, was in the works last summer and fall (2013) and officially started in spring 2014. It was originally formed to facilitate a more fluid and graceful transitioning of garden knowledge among interns, so whoever takes over the role of Garden Program Coordinator can be immersed with the garden program and can be confident in running the program themselves.



Currently, there are three beds in the Political Science courtyard, all constructed by the Physical Plant carpentry shop. The left bed has purple snap dragon, purple and silver ground shade plant, yellow root, kale, bib lettuce, collards, tomatoes, borage, Genovese basil, and lemon basil. The middle bed contains a very large tomatillo plant, basil (two different varieties, lemon and African blue basil) tomatoes, arugula, lettuce, borage. The right bed contains 3 chamomiles, 2 dills, 1 Charleston cilantro, 1 Charleston tarragon, 3 different varieties of thyme, marigolds, Gullah Geechee corn, red emperor beans, collards, and kale.


The program emphasizes teamwork rather than a hierarchical experience. There are many components to the program, such as field trips, gardening work days, DIY projects, homeopathic remedies, and community outreach. Sustainability has collaborated with various departments at the College and other Charleston organizations including but not limited to Crop Up LLC, Grow Food Carolina, Gullah Geechee Nation, the Grounds Department, the Physical Plant Carpentry Department, the School of the Arts, the Environmental Studies Department, Alternative Break (Center for Civic Engagement), Compost in My Shoe, Dirt Works farmers, the MUSC Urban Farm, and the Political Science Department. The garden is also tied to Dixie Plantation.



For more information about the Community Garden, visit sustainability.cofc.edu.


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