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History and Vision

The UGArden student farm began as an idea for a student garden by the Campus Community Gardening Initiative. Led by Craig Page, Morgan Fleming, Mary Carlson, Jenny Brickman, and Liberty Newberry, this student group proposed to construct a small community garden on campus to provide hands-on teaching opportunities for students and faculty to serve the Athens community. This is a copy of the original proposal for UGArden. After over a year of searching for a suitable site, Doug Bailey, Horticulture Department Head, offered to host the UGArden on land adjacent to the South Milledge Greenhouse Complex. UGArden Club members, the UGA Grounds Department, and other volunteers worked tirelessly to prepare and plant the first 3/4 acre garden plot in May of 2010.

UGArden is …

Vision: To provide outstanding leadership in sustainable food education and research Mission: The UGArden Education and Demonstration Farm will research, teach and promote sustainable agriculture and systems of localized food distribution. By integrating academic curriculum with the University of Georgia’s land resources and the local food economy, UGArden will provide a unique laboratory for understanding and developing local-scale solutions to global food challenges. UGArden will bring to the table a wide range of participants, facilitating collaboration among people from diverse personal and academic backgrounds.

Objectives

  • Provide space to teach hands-on sustainable farming/gardening methods
  • Teach the UGA community about sustainable food systems
  • Share fresh organic produce to families in needs in the local community
  • Provide space for students to engage students in practical research projects
  • Enhance engagement between UGA students and the Athens community
  • Closely connect UGA to its food system

Logistics and Labor: UGArden is managed by the Farm Educator/Manager, with assistance from undergraduate and graduate students, both through courses and as volunteers. Other aspects of the management plan include: Internship program offered on a semester-length basis and farm apprentice program throughout the year providing the labor needs to plant, maintain, harvest and deliver produce to the Campus Kitchen and other food donation programs.