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Hey, green thumbs: Communiversity Gardens back in season

April 15, 2016

cg-drillIt is said that gardens are the first sign of commitment to a community, and that to plant a garden is to plant a hope.

The NIU Communiversity Gardens couldn’t hold more truth to these expressions.

Since the garden’s ground breaking in 2014, students, faculty, staff and community members have successfully worked together to produce fresh and locally grown vegetables for our community and students. During the 2015 season, the NIU Communiversity Gardens produced and donated more than 1,700 pounds of produce, which is equivalent to approximately 7,400 servings.

This year, blueberries and serviceberry bushes are only a few of the delicious new additions to the gardens for the community to enjoy.

The ENVS 491 class that has been engaged with the gardens all year has started up a T-shirt fundraiser to collect funds for a new shed to protect and store the garden’s tools. Friends of the gardens can help by purchasing hand-drawn T-shirts designed by one of the students for only $12 at a garden event.

  • The Communiversity Gardens will participate in NIU Cares Day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 16, to kick off the 2016 season by preparing the planting beds, spreading compost, repairing paths, building a key-hole garden, reinforcing trellises and sowing and transplanting the vegetables for the upcoming growing season.

The gardens is also hosting a “Garden Prep Party” from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 21, for the week-long environmental awareness event: Earth Week. This event will be celebration, not a work day, so everyone can expect lots of garden fun along with music, food, games, speakers and prizes.

Individuals or organizations with interest in helping in the garden, or wanting to learn about gardening and sharing produce with the community, should email [email protected]. The Communiversity Gardens also invites everyone, regardless of their experience, to come to work days from 4 to 6 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, beginning April 26. Volunteers can expect to get dirty, have fun and leave with sense of gratification and even an armload of fruits and veggies.