Photostory: Club Grow blossoms before Earth Week

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As plants and produce begin to sprout in the SMC Organic Learning Garden, Club Grow is kicking off the spring season by raising awareness of how students can contribute to a more ecological future. With Earth Week just around the corner, students are doing their part to be more Earth wise.

SMC student Ryan Duncans manages the on-campus Organic Learning Garden and is optimistic for the future of Club Grow. “It took five years to get [Club Grow] established,” says Duncans. “The purpose is for the garden to be a place of outdoor education for a variety of clubs and classes on campus.” When walking through the various herbs and vegetables, signs greet students announcing SMC clubs and classes. All of which was surrounded by produce of every type.

SMC student clubs such as EcoAction Club, the Center for Environmental and Urban Studies and Club grow are contributing to Earth Week with five days dedicated to ecological action. Among the upcoming events at SMC that commemorate Earth Week are bee keeping, talks about sustainable foods, and giveaways at the Students Feeding Students event on April 22 of which Club Grow will be gleaning the local farmer’s market to bring free, organic food to the students of SMC.

“Students Feeding Students is about connecting waste to need,” says Director of Sustainability Genevieve Bertone. “A lot of the food that we get will be from local farmers that would have thrown the food away. It’s a way for students to learn about local, organic, and sustainable foods and learn how to access it in their area.”

Since its establishment in 2012 as an official club on campus, Club Grow has created a 1,200 square foot garden with over 14 plots growing everything from delectable strawberries to other recognized sources of healthy eating such as tomatoes and kale.

Gardening is not an activity only for specialists. According to former advisor to the Organic Learning Garden Dana Morgan, there are many beneficial gardening activities you can do in the comfort of your own home. “You can start small by growing food in a flower pot, and grow it on your balcony or porch, and you’ll be amazed by the flavor and nutrition of the food itself.”

The Organic Learning Garden can provide a healthy alternative to the mechanized fast food dominated terrain we live in today. Morgan also added that, “One of the major benefits of the garden is that it gets us away from technology.”

With the Organic Learning Garden, Club Grow is offering an Eden that feeds the mind as well as the body.