The community garden is a never-ending story that all ABAC students are invited to partake in.
This month, the community garden held another workday on March 27. Around 14 volunteers showed up to help and they worked from around 8am to 3:30pm. Volunteers finished putting in the inground irrigation system and erecting the new community garden sign. They also weeded the plots and staked down timbers around half of the garden to create a flower bed on the perimeter.
After killing the grass underneath the flower bed and turning up the soil, they planted many different varieties of flowers. Among the flowers that were planted were marigolds, lantanas, and mums. Not only is this combination expected to be beautiful when it blooms, but the mix of wildflowers will be good for the “nuc” (a beehive with 3-5 frames) the Beekeepers Association is going to put near the garden around May. Volunteers also planted four rose bushes along the perimeter, and tomatoes, potatoes, and herbs in the raised beds.
Right now Sarah Herring, the ABAC residence life coordinator that runs the community garden, said she doesn’t have any definite plans for future community garden workdays, but that she’d like to learn more about composting over the summer because they built a section for composting in the garden that goes mostly unused at the moment. She also said that the garden still has a lot of leftover concrete that she would like to do something creative with, like using it to create stepping stones for the garden or more planters.
Though this was most likely the last community garden workday of the semester, it’s not too late for ABAC students to plant something in the garden before they leave for summer break.
Around four summer school students have volunteered to take care of the garden over the break’ helping weed the plots and keep them all watered.
Students that won’t be here over the summer but still want to help are always welcome to donate materials if they have them.
Most of the materials for the garden come from Ace Hardware in Ocilla, because of how helpful the staff was in the early stages of the garden’s creation, Herring says she could still use mulch or pine straw for the flower garden perimeter, “or just plain dirt.”
Soil especially is always in demand because the planting beds need to be refilled every year as the soil gets washed away over time.
Though the garden seems to be a labor of love for the frequent volunteers, a student doesn’t need to volunteer to be part of the community garden. All a student needs to do to claim some planting space for themselves is email Sarah Herring at email@example.com.