Student Leader Fellowship Program hosts gardening event

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Photo courtesy of Maddy Humphrey

Ashley Beronja

Students who are looking into classes that offer knowledge on gardening as well as a source to reach out to if they’re interested in gardening on campus may be interested in the upcoming skill-builder event. Dig In, hosted by the Student Leader Fellowship Program, is a time where students can ask questions and seek guidance from fellow gardeners.

Hosted by Sarah Bixby, SLFP mentor, Dig In offers a chance for students to learn how to promote sustainability through gardening as well as supporting local gardeners. The workshop will discuss sustainable food practices and gardening techniques that students can then turn and use in their own gardens. The event will also include an orientation to the NMU Student Garden Plot.

“Especially for this garden, planning will be a big focus during the event,” Bixby said. “How to plan a garden and that garden, especially at this size, is all about teamwork.” 

Tying in with planning a garden, Bixby will focus a lot on garden spacing, and what grows best in specific spaces. 

“Students will learn and be able to experiment with their plot in terms of what grows best where and be able to do that either alone or with a partner,” Bixby said.

While some may prefer to garden alone, students will have the opportunity to have a partner to share the plot space with. Someone who enjoys the planning process of gardening during the long winter and has things come up during the summertime can have a partner that prevents hard work in the winter from getting lost.

In addition to planning how and where to garden, as well as the effect of teamwork in a gardening environment, Bixby claims that gardening also helps us learn how to design our own learning. 

“Why is it important to observe? Why is it important to be curious? Why is it important to experiment? To express and connect with people? Those are all things students need to do and I think we are all students,” Bixby said. “We need to learn from all those steps and gardening is a big and fun experiment. Not only is gardening a scientific experiment but an artistic experiment as well. Gardens marry science and art and we need to have more marriages like that in our curriculum.” 

The event runs Monday, Sept. 14 from 4-5:30 p.m. Dig in is currently sold out, however, if students are interested in learning more about the NMU Student Garden Plot, they can contact Sarah Bixby at [email protected]

“The NMU Community garden initiative is about partnership and community. Ideally, we’d like to see many clubs represented in the garden and space around the garden. We are still in the design and goal setting stages, but we want to support every effort that NMU is making to create an ecologically, environmentally and socially viable and sustainably-minded campus,” Bixby said.