Few students have a better understanding of the effects seasonal weather change have on plants than the members of Auburn’s Organic Gardening Club. In its second full semester on campus, the organization has just rotated to its fall and winter crops.
Their plot, located in the community garden on Samford Avenue is filled with swiss chard, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, kale and other cold-weathered plants.
Club President Jonathan Lillebo said it took a full semester of
“We were able to get meetings with Tiger Dining who actually controls the community garden," said Lillebo. "We established a mutually beneficial relationship where we volunteer in the garden and in return we get our own space to garden.”
The club was officially recognized by AU Involve in January and has continued in full force.
“We garden together not just to have some extra vegetables but for education,” Lillebo said.
Lillebo said the purpose of the club is for people to come together and garden, regardless of how much they know about gardening.
“It is a space where you can come and learn how to do it,” Lillebo said. "I’m a horticulture major, but most of our members are outside the College of Agriculture, which is one of my favorite things about us."
A recent project Lillebo and other members were proud of was a pumpkin smashing event. The event was organized by club officer Emily Gustafson, sophomore in horticulture.
Gustafson said the event was held after Halloween and focused on repurposing old jack-o'-lanterns and decorative pumpkins people no longer wanted.
“We collected pumpkins from the community, and then we met up and smashed them to break them down more so that we can put them in the compost sooner. It was a lot of fun, and it will be great for the garden,” Gustason said.
Members pounded pumpkins with bats and shovels as a form of destruction with the purpose of giving students a way to let off steam and do something positive for the Earth.
“This was a really valuable event that Emily put together," Lillebo said. "Sustainability is really the heart of the club. This was a great way to look at how we can make Halloween more sustainable. It keeps pumpkins out of landfills and puts them in our compost where they can have a positive environmental impact.”