Students, faculty, and friends of Mary Baldwin University gathered this week to plant the first seeds for the fourth season of the Mary Baldwin community garden.
United under the warm afternoon sun on the lawn adjacent to the Baldwin Online and Adult Programs (Baldwin Online and Adult Programs) house, seasoned gardeners and beginners alike used shovels and rakes to sow the seeds and sprouts of new life: onions, turnips, peppers, basil, flowers, beans, and much more.
The organic garden is divided into two spaces — a community plot and individual plots. The individual plots serve as a separate area where people can plant and maintain their own crops while the community plot remains open to all campus members and volunteers to plant and help care for by pulling weeds and watering.
Several students brought their shovels and generous spirits to the event. Linnea Barklund ’13 was inspired to get involved through her Spencer Center internship as local food initiatives coordinator while Christina Ramirez ’13 was motivated to help out with the garden because of her strong commitment to community service.
“I participate in many community service events,” Ramirez said. “If I see something that I can help with, I will contribute.”
Although there were many experienced gardeners at the plot, MLitt program alumna Nicole Royce ’05 represented one of the beginner planters. Royce jumped at the opportunity to sharpen her skills when she learned that there was still space available in the garden.
Marion Ward, Baldwin Online and Adult Programs director, highlighted one of the obvious and practical benefits of the garden — fresh food.
“I like to come out from the kitchen [in Baldwin Online and Adult Programs house] and pick fresh tomatoes and greens to make a sandwich with,” Ward said, as she sprinkled tomato and basil seeds into the fertile soil.
Learn more about Mary Baldwin’s eco-efforts on the Mary Baldwin Green page of the college’s website.