Georgian Court’s Mercy Garden Grows

 

GEORGIAN COURT’S MERCY GARDEN continues to grow in more ways than one. The effort, which launched in late 2011, has produced a variety of vegetables to be shared with local charities. The community vegetable garden helps provide food for local food banks and charities and demonstrates sustainable agricultural practices within our community. Garden leaders also teach participants to grow food for themselves and others within our community. The ongoing project also offers the extended community a hands-on opportunity to learn sustainable concepts and practices while also teaching students about the creation, tending and harvesting of a true garden.  Since the program’s launch, the garden has become a hot spot for volunteers willing to “dig deep” and also serves as a lecture/demonstration site for area residents interested in using the Mercy Garden as a model for creating projects in their own backyards and communities.

Tending to the garden is a group effort, led by biology professor Louise Wootton, Ph.D., and sustainability educator Rich Mohr. Volunteers include local residents, GCU faculty and staff, adults enrolled in GCU’s McAuley Institute for Lifelong Learning, and members of GCU lacrosse and basketball teams. The following is a Mercy Garden Facebook excerpt from Dr. Wootton’s December 2013 update:

Learning by doing

mohrgarden“With the season for tomatoes and peppers more or less over, we turned to getting ready for fall and winter. We planted lots of kale and spinach and other leafy greens, which we are growing for donation to Providence House, a Catholic Charities affiliate that helps struggling families with children shed the bonds of extreme poverty and homelessness. We also got a big assist from the GCU women’s lacrosse team who gave up a Saturday in October to help us build cold frames, as well as to expand our compost heap and perennial beds. I wish you could have seen these amazing women, many of whom started the day with little or no gardening experience and virtually none of whom were familiar with using power tools.

 

“After some memorable team building activities, the students and their coaches went to work with measuring tapes, power saws, screwdrivers, and other tools to make the cold frames.
By the end of the day they were pros with all of the tools as well as having made the cold frame. Meanwhile, another group took pick axes and shovels to an area of the highly compacted lawn within our fence, and created and planted an extension to our demonstration native pollinator/perennial bed. Finally, a third group used posthole diggers, shovels and more power tools to construct an extension to our compost heap. All in all, it was an amazing day of fellowship and team spirit as well as a big advancement in the progress of the garden.”

—Louise Wootton, Ph.D., GCU biology professor and director of sustainability

 

 

GEORGIAN COURT’S MERCY GARDEN continues to grow in more ways than one. The effort, which launched in late 2011, has produced a variety of vegetables to be shared with local charities. The community vegetable garden helps provide food for local food banks and charities and demonstrates sustainable agricultural practices within our community. Garden leaders also teach participants to grow food for themselves and others within our community. The ongoing project also offers the extended community a hands-on opportunity to learn sustainable concepts and practices while also teaching students about the creation, tending and harvesting of a true garden.  Since the program’s launch, the garden has become a hot spot for volunteers willing to “dig deep” and also serves as a lecture/demonstration site for area residents interested in using the Mercy Garden as a model for creating projects in their own backyards and communities.

Tending to the garden is a group effort, led by biology professor Louise Wootton, Ph.D., and sustainability educator Rich Mohr. Volunteers include local residents, GCU faculty and staff, adults enrolled in GCU’s McAuley Institute for Lifelong Learning, and members of GCU lacrosse and basketball teams. The following is a Mercy Garden Facebook excerpt from Dr. Wootton’s December 2013 update:

Learning by doing

mohrgarden“With the season for tomatoes and peppers more or less over, we turned to getting ready for fall and winter. We planted lots of kale and spinach and other leafy greens, which we are growing for donation to Providence House, a Catholic Charities affiliate that helps struggling families with children shed the bonds of extreme poverty and homelessness. We also got a big assist from the GCU women’s lacrosse team who gave up a Saturday in October to help us build cold frames, as well as to expand our compost heap and perennial beds. I wish you could have seen these amazing women, many of whom started the day with little or no gardening experience and virtually none of whom were familiar with using power tools.

 

“After some memorable team building activities, the students and their coaches went to work with measuring tapes, power saws, screwdrivers, and other tools to make the cold frames.
By the end of the day they were pros with all of the tools as well as having made the cold frame. Meanwhile, another group took pick axes and shovels to an area of the highly compacted lawn within our fence, and created and planted an extension to our demonstration native pollinator/perennial bed. Finally, a third group used posthole diggers, shovels and more power tools to construct an extension to our compost heap. All in all, it was an amazing day of fellowship and team spirit as well as a big advancement in the progress of the garden.”

—Louise Wootton, Ph.D., GCU biology professor and director of sustainability

 

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