As winter closes in and one says goodbye to fall ,the time to revel in TJC’s garden greenery comes closer to an end. This leaves students to wonder, who is behind the current gardens at Tyler Junior College?
Dr. Manoucher Khosrowshahi, also known as Dr. K, is a professor of political science at TJC. With the help of Dr. Ryan Button, professor of sociology and psychology, and The Green Committee, Khosrowshahi, has managed and cared for TJC’s raised garden beds on campus.
“During the COVID, nobody was around and the garden was dying. And I was coming to the college just about every day. It was the best time for me to really get away from the stress of the COVID and stay in touch with nature,” Khosrowshahi said. “I’m proud of what I have done; everybody compliments the looks, the variety of the plants and them looking botanical.”
After initially getting approval from The Green Committee, Khosrowshahi has been managing the garden beds daily.
Khosrowshahi’s everyday duties include watering and removing weeds from the 14 raised garden beds that are located between Potter Hall and Genecov Science Building, and between the main portion of Pirtle Technology and the Culinary Arts facility.
“If you take care of the garden, it will grow. It’s all about good soil, sun and water,” Khosrowshahi said.
Khosrowshahi explains there are over 10 countries represented by plants in the garden. These include, oregano from Greece, cilantro from Mexico, basil from Italy, marjoram and thyme from France, mint from Southeast Asia and Turkey, chives from China, rosemary and lavender from Mediterranean areas of Southern Europe to Western Asia, sage from the Mediterranean and Asia Minor and Turkey, garlic from Central Asia and Northeastern Iran, and sweet potatoes from Central and South America.
According to the Royal College of Physicians, “gardening is beneficial to mental and physical health…Several trials have revealed the beneficial effects on mood and mental health of simply observing nature, or even images of natural scenes.”
Khosrowshahi explains the importance of gardening and how individuals can benefit.
“This is really about stress relief. To keep in touch with nature is a very healthy thing to do,” Khosrowshahi said. “You need to space out, keep in touch with the nature. Get your hands, get the gloves, touch the soil.”
Khosrowshahi also mentions that much of what he grows he gives away.
Khosrowshahi said students who are interested in helping can contact him via email at email@example.com, or by calling 903-510-2279. His office hours are 5 a.m. through 5 p.m.