Members of the Locavore Club and Lynay joined forces Saturday morning to organically plant 100 potatoes in a community garden on Cypress Street.
“It was cool because other kids, who aren’t necessarily interested in the Locavore group, came out and not only got their service hours but learned about healthy eating and how it can benefit a community,” said Locavore Vice President Evelyn Henshaw, senior communications major from San Diego.
The garden, started by Grace Fellowship about a year ago, is divided into a front lot of personal boxes for community members and a back lot for larger crops like the potatoes, said Locavore president Matthew Hale, senior communications major from Uvalde.
Hale said after he heard about the garden, he asked if the Locavore Club could volunteer to help. The owners agreed, and Hale joined the planning committee for the garden and suggested planting potatoes organically, without using chemicals or genetically modified potato seeds to resist those chemicals.
As a result, the students ditched the RoundUp and picked up newspapers.
To create the organic potato patch, the students covered two long rows of mounded dirt three-newspapers thick and cut holes in the newspapers about every foot. Potatoes were placed into the holes, and students covered the newspapers with mulch.
The point of having a community garden is to teach people how to garden and grow their own food, Hale said. Planting potatoes organically is cheaper and easier than other methods, and teaches people how to produce nutritious food on their own, he said.
“People don’t always have access to real, good nutritious food, but they can do this in their own yard,” Hale said. “There is no point in teaching them to grow what they can buy in the stores.”
The Locavore Club also has plans to create a community garden on ACU’s campus. Hale said after finishing a sketch of the garden, the club will propose it to the head of Physical Resources, who will present it to the Board of Trustees. Hopefully, Hale said, it will come to campus by mid-semester.
“It’s going to bring awareness to our campus of the benefits of eating locally and peak interest,” Hale said.
The campus garden would be a a pilot garden, so it can’t be used by the Bean, but Hale said it’s part of a bigger process to get where the Locavore Club wants ACU to be as a campus.
“We want to be a sustainable campus, where we grow our own food, eat our own food, know where it comes from and know that it’s safe,” Hale said. “If we’re sustainable, we do it ourselves. That’s the whole premise of what ACU wants to do, being exceptional, innovative and real.”