The Lewisburg Community Garden, a partnership between the University and the Borough of Lewisburg, is located on the corner of St. Anthony and North Water Streets. Comprised of 12,600 square feet, the garden is divided in half between a large communal plot and rental sections for $20 per season.
The goal of the garden is to support community members who wish to be involved in organic gardening by providing land at an affordable rental price. The garden also increases access to healthy food options while lowering operational costs. The produce grown gets donated to local hot meal programs among the greater Lewisburg area, as well as to the Union County Food Bank.
The 2013 gardening season has begun and volunteers are currently busy planting over 1,500 seedlings in the University greenhouse for the plant sale on May 4. Volunteers have also been preparing the garden for the upcoming season by tilling the soil, according to Stacey Sommerfield, assistant director of Service Learning, who oversees the whole Community Garden program. Most planting will begin around May 15, the predicted date of the last frost, although certain crops that can withstand the cold may be planted earlier in April.
Recently, the garden acquired 4,000 square feet of additional land, approved by the Borough Council in March 2013. The extension will allow the garden to extend the number of rental plots available from 22 to 38.
The Community Garden provides a great way for University students and local community members to collaborate together. Last year over 300 community members volunteered thousands of hours and cultivated over 56 varieties of fruits and vegetables in the plot. Students who wish to participate in the program can sign up online on a week-by-week basis through the Community Garden’s website.
Connections between the campus and community continue to ensue. A Management 101 company has been working closely with the Community Garden in particular. This company decided to sell sunglass straps and tank tops after conducting extensive research on campus, and all of the profits will be donated to the company’s two service clients, Community Harvest and Community Garden.
“Our company is working with these two organizations to make a great impact on our local community here in Lewisburg,” Loren Jablon ’15 said.