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Salisbury University Gardening Club goes organic

Updated: Jan 17, 2019

At Salisbury University, there are copious amounts of clubs and organizations that students can join, and all of these clubs are constantly making changes to better themselves and keep up to date. Gardening Club is no different, and it has big ambitions.

Gardening Club made the leap this past summer to go 100 percent organic. Environmental studies major and Gardening Club President Haley Winans feels that the choice to go organic was a process, but a necessary one at that.

“You aren’t solely, devoutly organic,” Winans said. “It has to start with fertilizer when it’s a baby and when it’s a transplant, but after that, there are no fertilizers or pesticides used here.”

Vice President Alli Shumate emphasized the importance of protecting the planet that we all call home.

“Why would we put harmful things into the earth?” Shumate said. “We promote sustainability and longevity.”

Going organic is a huge step for Gardening Club, as just one year ago it was “a plot of weeds and concrete,” as Winans described it. Gardening Club, under Winans and Shumate’s collective leadership, has blossomed from a once-bare plot into an overproducing mass of tomatoes. 

The garden is filled with a variety of plants including kale, cabbage, arugula, figs, pears, strawberries, grapes and broccoli. The list goes on, and even changes as the club shifts gears during the seasons to work with the changing weather conditions.

“We hope to actually sell tomatoes in Red Square, but the primary consumers are club members,” Shumate said. “But a lot of the time our members don’t eat any; they’ll just come and weed the garden and eat a tomato and not take any, but we have so much!”

They are also trying to promote being an informed consumer around campus.

“A lot of our campus relies on Cool Beans or Commons for food, but a lot of Gardening Club is knowing where my food came from and who raised it and it’s that much more fulfilling to eat,” Winans said.

Both girls hope for the continuation of progress being made within the club and are very open when it comes to receiving new members.

“Anyone from anywhere can come anytime. We have meetings, but you can go on your own and just weed a little bit and then take some tomatoes,” Winans said. “You can come to our garden whenever you please. I want it to be as communal and unifying as possible because that’s what I think society should be.”

Winans encourages the community to come out and has no intention of turning anyone away, highlighting that the club is made to bring people together.

“We also want it to be more interactive and tell members to bring friends with them,” Winans said.

As an idea for a future event hosted by the club, the members hope to host a large event or contest to make a statue for the garden.

“We really just want to get people from all areas involved,” Winans said. “I want it to be unifying, which is our main central theme.”

The garden is located on the corner of Camden and College Avenue.

For more information on joining, contact President Haley Winans at



Staff writer

Featured photo: Gardening Club's 100 percent organic garden can be seen across the street from Holloway Hall (Emma Reider image).

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