Judson College launches community garden project

Published 6:09 pm Thursday, March 27, 2014

MARION — Judson College is bringing in the spring season with a garden project.

Judson College is starting their first campus garden next week and the school is inviting the community to help.

The food produced from the volunteer garden project will be donated the to college’s dining hall and disadvantaged families in Marion.

“We’re going to give them the opportunity to learn how food is actually planted and grown, tended and harvested,” Judson College public relations representative George Frangoulis, who coordinates the garden project, said.

The first part of the project requires volunteers to compose clean, leftover vegetable pairings from the college’s dining hall, which is run by SAGE Dining Services. The Judson College Equestrians, a horse-riding program, will provide organic manure for the project.

That step will be followed by volunteers tending to the garden, harvesting the crops and donating the herbs and produce to the dining hall and low-income Marion residents.

“I think we are trying to get people to learn a little more about food literacy, and good eating habit is important,” Frangoulis said.

It didn’t take long for Judson College students, faculty and staff to want to participate in the project.

“All I had to do was put out word that we are going to be organizing this campus garden project, and people said, ‘This is long overdue. Wow I can’t wait to be a part of this,’” Frangoulis said. “People are really excited about this.”

While the project was originally intended solely for those connected with Judson College, it quickly became a project for the entire Marion community after multiple church leaders suggested their church’s involvement.

John Nicholson, pastor of Siloam Baptist Church, said he wanted his church to get involved.

“It’s also just the benefit of getting our hands in the dirt together,” Nicholson said. “There is just great joy in watching God’s hand at work and being a part of that.”

Frangoulis said Judson is hoping the project will grow over the years.