Located between Lone Mountain and the Education Building, the USF Community Garden is a living laboratory for students, faculty, and staff interested in sustainable agriculture.
The garden was started in 2007 when two professors and eleven students enrolled in The Garden Project Living Learning Community transformed an overgrown lot used by ROTC into an organic garden. Today, the 1/8-acre USF Community Garden provides year-round seasonal vegetables, fruit, and herbs.
The space currently functions as an outdoor classroom, primarily for Urban Ag: Fall (ENVA 130) and Urban Ag: Spring (ENVA 140), where students learn basic and advanced principles and practices of organic gardening.
The garden is also a living laboratory for many students and professors from across campus. In the last few years, architecture students have designed and built a greenhouse, an information kiosk, and a solar panel system in the garden; art students have designed signs and murals for the garden; ecology students have experimented with growing native plants; and urban agriculture students built an outdoor kitchen and designed a water catchment system for the orchard.
The plot is a vital space for urban food production, used primarily by Community Garden Outreach (ENVA 145), where students harvest fresh produce from the garden and cook meals for our campus farm stand and free community dinners. The remaining produce is donated to the food bank at the Booker T. Washington Community Service Center.
Additionally, the garden is a space for reflection for students, faculty, staff, and members of the surrounding community who enjoy logging off for a while to breathe, think, converse, and read.
All members of the USF and surrounding community are invited to join our weekly Garden Workdays on Fridays from 2-5 pm. Whether you are a seasoned pro or merely gardening curious, join us to learn new skills and meet new friends. And for your labor, you can go home with a bag full of fresh, organic produce from the garden! For more information, contact David Silver. And in the meantime, follow us on Twitter @USFGarden.