Updated: Sep 17
Between quarantine, social distancing and the shift to virtual learning, many are looking for ways to incorporate salutary living within their daily lives. The Salisbury University Gardening Club has taken all these concerns and found a way to provide formidable solutions to these new-age dilemmas.
The Gardening Club members aim to improve the health of students and the surrounding community, while incorporating ecologically conscious techniques to advocate for environmentalist practices. The Gardening Club utilizes the principles of Bio-Intensive System of Gardening, in which the gardening techniques of Bio-Intensive and French-Intensive are intertwined throughout.
Bio-Intensive System of Gardening is employed as it is known as an ecologically conscious technique, with members relying on deep soil preparation and the close spacing of crops planted. To minimize and potentially eliminate the usage of fossil fuels, the organization employs the practice of composting as the primary source of soil fruitfulness.
The club utilizes their unique mode of gardening, Bio-Intensive, to harness the forces of nature to their benefit rather than working in opposition to them.
The Gardening Club advocates for healthy living through sustainable living practices and encourages students to live an organic lifestyle. The average college student may not readily have access to organic food options, which is why each student is encouraged to take the fruits and vegetables home and find ways to incorporate them into their daily routine.
“The club is a great way to meet new people, experience new modes of gardening and to give students a reason to go outdoors,” member Shyane Carter expressed. “It gives people the ability to work for their food, and we hope to encourage a healthy style of living.”
As coronavirus has revealed, encouraging students to utilize a health-conscious lifestyle is more important than ever. The organization has taken precautionary measures to help limit the transmission within the club proceedings, ensuring that all students who actively garden will be socially distanced and wearing face masks.
Being able to grow your own produce is a life-long skill, and one that Carter feels is essential given the current global climate regarding the pandemic.
“Growing your own fruits and vegetables ensures that no cross-contamination can occur, as the products in the store are withered and could have been exposed to the virus,” Carter explained. “Through our organization, we can ensure purely organic produce that simultaneously encourages ways to garden with the least environmental impact.”
Gardening Club Student Government Representative Ajay Draper encourages students from other organizations to participate within the organization, emphasizing the need for fraternity and sorority participation. “The Garden Club would love to collaborate with any fraternity or sorority that is looking for community service," Draper said.
“We have garden beds that need weeding, and their service would go towards growing sustainable organic food for the community,” Draper explains.
Draper encourages every student to participate within the organization and explains the ideology of the organization in which “Students are able to meet with like-minded people who are nature lovers, and actually are able to experience being out within nature.”
“It is a great way to surround yourself with people who share your concerns and interests for the environment, but we encourage all students to participate and absorb ways to be ecologically conscious in their everyday life.” Draper ensured.
The promotion of health is a core element of the Gardening Club, and in addition to eating healthy, the club also encourages students to stay physically active through organized exercise. To “connect the mind, body and spirit," the club is hosting an outdoor guided yoga event outside of Holloway Hall, Sept. 18, socially distancing students to ensure their safety in participation.
The club is currently focused on planting salad greens in the immediate future, and to prepare for the fall season they are in the process of planting pumpkins. If you want to be prepared for this upcoming season, the club plans to make jack-o'-lanterns and produce healthy snacks with the cultivated seeds.
From the promotion of physical health to the advocacy of sustainable living practices, the Gardening Club has components that can improve your daily life, and ameliorate the health of our planet. The club plans to meet at the garden Sundays at 4 p.m. and Thursdays at 6 p.m., weather permitting with times subject to change in the fall. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
By STEPHANIE RIVERA
Gull Life editor