More than two dozen students and faculty members gathered on a green, grassy plot of land in the center of Georgia Gwinnett College’s (GGC) campus Saturday, August 29 to bring life back to the school’s microfarm, which had gone neglected in the months since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the college to move to online instruction during the middle of the spring semester and to a hybrid format for fall semester. The volunteers rolled up their sleeves to pull weeds, clear debris, mow the tall grass and replant eight raised gardens that, if all goes well over the next few months, will overflow with fresh, healthy produce that will be donated to local families in need.
Nury Castro said the microfarm is a great volunteer opportunity for the campus community. As the assistant director of community engagement and service, Castro is the staff advisor of the Grizzlies Serve student program and said students enjoy giving back to the communities where they live and learn.
“The goal today is to clean up enough to start planting and growing again,” said Castro. “The microfarm has been a wonderful resource for our students. It gives them an opportunity to see first-hand all the things they discuss in the classroom like community service and being civically engaged, and shows them that even if you live in an urban or suburban area or a city you can live sustainably, grow your own food, give back and take care of the earth.”
The microfarm was the brainchild of professor of political science Paul Grant, who, along with a colleague proposed the concept to the college’s administration in 2012. Grant and a dedicated group of students have nurtured the garden which originally was established in 2013 on a 1,000 square-foot patch of ground just south of the “I” building.
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