Community garden’s help students get back to nature

Janel Hlebak and Janel Hlebak

While most Bowling Green students settle for fast paced food and lifestyles, some appreciate a more natural approach.

Student organization Freedom, along with the local business, The Common Good, work together to create and maintain local community garden’s in the Bowling Green area.

The garden project was originated in 2009 by “Freedom,” but ceased to be kept up.

Adam Vaughn, community garden coordinator and manager was proud of the garden’s current state and the progress of the group.

“I think people are losing a sense of connection with where their food comes from,” Vaughn said. “Having local gardens helps people get back to nature.”

The Common Good and Freedom have two gardens currently operating in Bowling Green, one of which is at Peace Lutheran Church on West Wooster and another at the 1st United Methodist Church.

According to Vaughn, the gardens are funded by the Common Good, which has a garden fund for anything that needs to be bought. They also have a partnership with Toledo Grows, which supplies them with seeds and starter plants and they also accept public donations.

While the garden’s supply is meant to show Freedom and Common Good members they can grow and create their own food and cut out “the middle man,” the groups also donate some of the food they grow to local causes.

“The Cocoon shelter, Martha’s Kitchen and the local food pantry have all received donations from the gardens,” Common Good Director Renee Chico said. “We also get weekly donations from Panera Bread that people can feel free to stop by and make use of.”

“The gardens reduce our carbon footprint and promote eating local, organic food,“ Vaughn said. “It gives people a connection to the earth and shows them that they are more than just consuming bodies.”

The Common Good is a community center located at 113 Crim St. created by the United Christian Fellowship and is free for students to use. The center focuses on spirituality, as well as social and environmental issues.

Sophomore Holly Baker hopes that students not only feel welcomed, but are encouraged to use the center and the gardens.

“It’s such an open space and you don’t have to be invited, everyone’s always welcome,” Baker said. “It’s nice to get off campus and away from those stresses, it’s kind of like going home.”

The next planting day for the community gardens is April, 15th at 8 a.m.