Volunteering There are numerous ways students and community members can get involved with UGArden! Most simply, join us during our designated work events, typically centered on planting and harvesting. Current Opportunites: Join us Monday and Wednesday mornings from 8am-12pm for Harvest! Sign up and find more opportunities on our volunteer page! Or Facebook! Tours Many people enjoy visiting UGArden to tour the garden plots and observe one of a number of student projects and activities. Whether it’s one person or a group, UGArden is open for tours! We do ask that you plan ahead and make an appointment – UGArden is a busy place. Though we operate year-round, there are times when there is more to see or do. With proper planning, tours can be tailored to meet specific age groups and interests. Email us today to schedule a tour and/or volunteer opportunity with your club, organization, or school group! Courses Several courses are taught at UGArden, utilizing the many educational resources available. Below is a current listing. Contact the Farm Director for details on any of the classes listed. HORT 4125/6125 Organic Agriculture Systems. This is a 4-hour course that serves as the capstone course for the Certificate Program in Organic Agriculture. Students learn about organic agriculture and gains hands-on experience with their UGArden plots. This course is taught in the spring. HORT 4030S/6030S Sustainable Community Food Production. This 3-hour class covers the wide range of practices used to raise food for community gardens, school gardens, and small-scale urban agriculture. Students plan, plant and maintain their own garden plots at UGArden. This course is one of two anchor classes for the Local Food Systems Certificate. HORT 3920: UGArden Internship. This is a 3-hour experience where students work at UGArden, maintaining a regular work schedule. Interns work alongside the Farm Manager and learn to operate equipment, apply fertilizers, sow seed, and otherwise operate a small urban farm. Interns provide the primary means of supervising the hundred of volunteers to come to UGArden each semester. This course is listed differently than others and requires permission of Professor Berle. HORT 3300: Organic Gardening. This is a 3-hour course where students will learn the history and principles of organic production and issues of sustainability in growing horticultural crops, with an emphasis on science-based practices. Students will participate in experiential and service-learning gardening activities outside of class. HORT 3200: Protected and Controlled Environments Horticulture. This is a 3-hour course intended to give an overview of the principles and practices of agricultural systems that modify the natural environment in order to enhance crop production. The emphasis will be on edible horticultural crops and will cover both soil and soilless growing methods, including hydroponics. HORT 2000: Sustainable Plant Production. This is a 3-hour course where students will study biological, cultural, and environmental factors which influence the sustainable production of plants for human use. FYOS 1001: Organic Gardening. This is a 1-hour seminar intended to engage first-year students in the academic culture of the university. This seminar focuses on the basics of organic gardening. Each student will be given space to grow their own array of crops. Service Learning at UGArden Faculty frequently have a service learning requirement for their courses, and as service-learning is part of our mission here at UGArden, we will make every effort to ensure students working as part of a course requirement have a rewarding educational experience. If you are a faculty interested in developing such a relationship, please feel free to contact our Volunteer Coordinator, who can help set up a one-time or ongoing experience for your students. Community Engagement Grow it Know it UGArden supports Grow It Know It, an active gardening and education program at four nearby middle schools, Clarke, Hilsman, Coile, and Burney-Harris-Lyons. Each school is a Title 1 school with a majority of students classified as “economically disadvantaged”, and 69% receiving subsidized lunches. Administration, teachers, and students are very supportive of efforts to incorporate sustainable food production and nutrition into the curriculum and daily lives of kids at the school. In addition to large gardens, schools have a greenhouse, raised beds, fruit orchard, goats, chickens, aquaculture systems, and a cafeteria composting system. The schools’ food service staff supports a regular supplemental food sampler cart known as the Garden Bar, featuring veggies from the schools’ garden and UGArden. The middle schools also host student-run markets with vegetables, fruit, and herbal tea grown at UGArden. Keep Reading Campus Kitchen Campus Kitchen at UGA is part of a growing network of university organizations called The Campus Kitchens Project. Each school affiliated with CKP operates a little differently, but they all have the common goal of reducing food waste in their university and community, as well as, combating food insecurity by addressing its root causes. UGArden supports Campus Kitchen through weekly produce donations which support about 50 families in the Athens community. Athens Community Council on Aging Athens Community Council on Aging (ACCA) along with UGArden are proud members of the Senior Hunger Coalition which work together to address senior hunger in Athens. Seniors account for a large majority of our local citizens facing food insecurity due to lack of transportation infrastructure and social isolation. Every Tuesday from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm, the ACCA hosts an intergenerational produce stand available to anyone in the Athens community. With the help of our partners at UGArden, we are able to provide fresh, local produce at an affordable price and in a convenient location. UGArden also helps support the growth of the on-site community garden located at ACCA by donating starter plants for volunteers to grow and harvest throughout the season. UGArden provides supplemental produce donations for our seniors via our Meals on Wheels, Center for Active Living, and Adult Day Health programs. The local produce helps our seniors “eat to their health” while also providing a link for our seniors to connect with the land and younger generations. Athens Area Home School Gardening Experience Since the summer of 2013, 20 homeschool families have been coming to UGArden once a week to plant and care for a plot of their own. With assistance from UGArden students and staff, the homeschool children learn to care for their own garden, from planting to harvest. ExperienceUGA Experience UGA is a new program developed to connect Clarke County School District students with the University of Georgia through organized learning experiences tied to grade-appropriate learning objectives. UGArden now hosts 7th graders from two Athens middle schools during the fall, providing hands-on learning activities related to sustainable agriculture. Athens Land Trust (Community Garden Network) UGArden staff and student volunteers provide hundred of hours of gardening assistance to support the efforts of the Athens Land Trust and their West Broad Street Garden and Ruth Street Urban Farm. This partnership has existed since before UGArden was officially established and serves as a strong link to those in need in the Athens Community. Athens-Clarke School Gardens UGArden supports efforts of Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful to encourage K-12 schools in the area to start and maintain food gardens. Support is provided in the way of seeds, vegetable transplants, technical support and often, student volunteers who turn out for frequent work events at the 20 public schools in Athens-Clarke County. UGArden Community Partners Athens-Clarke County Extension Office Athens Community Council on Aging Athens Land Trust Athens Master Gardeners Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful (KACCB) UGA Office of Sustainability UGA Go Green UGA Horticulture Department UGA Office of Service Learning Campus Kitchen Donations of Produce We are often asked to donate fresh produce to support UGA student events or other outreach programs on campus. UGArden supports the local Athens community every week by providing fresh produce through the Campus Kitchen program as well as mobile markets for low-income families. As a teaching garden, UGArden operates on a limited budget and functions as a non-profit, which often means relying on support from many of our community partners. We encourage students or organizations seeking donations of fresh produce to plan ahead and get involved in volunteer work events to help us grow more fresh organic produce to share.