GSU community garden plots are now available

June 10, 2014

Gather up all your gardening tools and put them to good use at Governors State University’s organic community garden. Plots are now available.

The university’s sustainable garden gives area residents a chance to use organic methods to grow the vegetables of their choice. The university’s garden is an opportunity to put to practice one of the themes that resonates throughout campus: sustainability. It also is an opportunity for gardeners to make healthy choices and achieve them on their own while building a sense of community with fellow gardeners.

“GSU is proud to welcome gardeners to our community garden again this spring. This is an opportunity for them to grow healthy, organic food for their families,” said Kevin Barto, director of campus services for GSU’s Office of Facilities Development and Management department. “We expect to have a mix of experienced and first-time gardeners, working together to produce healthy food. But it also gives them a chance to interact and learn from each other.”

Barto said the area chosen for the University Sustainable Garden, located southeast of GSU’s Family Development Center, has been farmed in the past. The garden will include 52 plots, ranging from 35 square feet for beginners to 400 square feet for experienced gardeners. A subset of plots will be designated for GSU students to sustain a Student Food Pantry, for the Family Development Center to teach children about growing their own food, and for the university’s College of Health and Human Services, which is developing a raised, fully-accessible garden.

GSU will provide water to the University Sustainable Garden. Gardeners must bring their own tools, plants and/or seeds and must agree to follow organic gardening principles. GSU will provide a list of products that will be allowed at the community garden. Gardeners seeking assistance will be directed to resources from the University of Illinois Extension Service, American Community Garden Association, and other organizations.

To be eligible for a garden plot, gardeners pay a nominal fee, from $10 to $20 depending on plot size, and agree to the rules and policies of the community garden by June 15. Garden plots are available on a first come, first served basis.

The University Sustainable Garden will be open from dawn to dusk between May and October. The planting deadline is July 1. Gardens left unplanted on July 1 will be cleared and made available for reassignment to current gardens for fall planting only.

GSU’s Office of Facilities Development and Management staff will oversee the seasonal operation of the garden and annual tilling of all plots.

To apply for a garden plot, visit www.govst.edu/garden or contact the GSU Facilities and Development and Management Department at (708) 534-4515.

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