The Ouachita Community Garden was established for the use and enjoyment of the entire campus. It will be divided into both individual parcels and group or community beds. However this project will not succeed if we do not treat the garden as a true community and think of it as one big garden tended by volunteers. The community garden is envisioned as a gathering place to meet new friends, learn new skills, and grow healthy food.
Everyone is invited to participate. You are welcome to plant one tomato or ten. Once you have turned in a waiver form, you are free to stop by anytime, even if you are not on a crew. Pull a few weeds, and help yourself to some tomatoes and squash. Our guiding principle will be “Tend some, take some, share a lot.” A key aspect of the garden is that all members of the garden will be asked to donate 10% of the harvest to help someone in need. This could be by providing fresh vegetables to a poor family or a simple gift of flowers and tomatoes to a neighbor who has had a bad day. Either way the garden will become a way to help others and provide opportunities to share the word of Christ.
This is an all-season, organic garden, using no pesticides or chemicals of any kind, with a goal of enjoying produce 8 months of the year. The vegetables will be grown in raised beds, promoting healthy growth and a large harvest. You are welcome to plant flowers, both perennials and annuals, as well as vegetables. There will be a raspberry, thorn-less blackberry, and blueberry patches (maybe not this year but in the future). In addition we will try to promote gardening for/with children.
Ongoing maintenance will be provided by 4 (8-12 person) crews of volunteers, each of which will tend the garden for one week (day a week) each month during the growing season. While being on a crew is not a requirement for garden membership, every member of the garden will be asked to join a crew. With the goal of diversity in mind, each crew will be made up of faculty, staff, students and other community volunteers.
With the help of our local expert gardeners, we will all learn about compost piles, rain barrels, crop rotation, saving seeds, and the best selections for spring, summer, and fall crops.
We would love to include art in the garden as well, and welcome suggestions on that and any other aspect of the garden.
We know this is a very difficult community garden model and is one that is not commonly used. In most community garden individuals rent parcels of land and rarely interact with other. However, we know the spirit of Ouachita and think that we have the ability to accomplish something unique that will truly better our community.
We are actively seeking volunteers!