February 26, 2020

Garden Commons teaches students how to garden early

By Christian Grace —

The University of Louisville’s Garden Commons hosted a workshop for locals and students with a focus on starting seeds early and sustainable gardening. A majority of U of L students only have access to on-campus options when it comes to food, which can be less than healthy or fresh.

Bethany Pratt, an agent of the Jefferson County Cooperative Extension, promotes education on gardening practices for all types of people in all areas.

Pratt discussed problems people within city limits might face. 

“In an urban landscape, I feel like we have more of an issue with food insecurity than in a rural area,” Pratt said. 

Pratt gave tips on how to construct homemade greenhouses using clear plastic bags or plastic wrap to seed earlier in the year.

“It’s an individual’s responsibility to have a basic understanding of the process it takes to get food on the table. It’s important to diversify food sources to alleviate a reliance on farming and to get in more connected with nature,” said Alanis Harris, one of Pratt’s university interns.

Harris said noon to 1 p.m. is a great time to have workshops because that is when most students have a break from classes.

“We wanted the garden and resources to be accessible to everyone and a chance to connect with other students while experiencing nature. The communal garden was so important because it gives students on campus a chance to understand their food and have access to fresh items,” Harris said. 

There was no shortage of students, faculty and community members in the greenhouse.

Everyone had a chance to experience a hands-on demonstration of readying soil and planting seeds in containers to transport later to soil.

The event concluded with the attendees labeling their plant holders, sharing seeds from home and discussing future projects.

The greenhouse will be moved in the coming weeks as construction begins on campus. Its new home will be behind Betty Johnson Hall.

Photo by Christian Grace // The Louisville Cardinal

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