HomeStudent LifeCampus garden provides oasis, learning opportunities

Campus garden provides oasis, learning opportunities

By Emily Niebuhr  

Student Life Editor

Photos by Cassidy Winborn

At Tyler Junior College there is something beautiful behind  Potter Hall and the Genecov Science Building where students  pass by. It is TJC’s own garden, which has grown since it began  in January 2017. 

Dr. Ryan Button, professor of sociology and assistant director of  the Presidential Honors Program, helped establish the garden and  explained its main purpose. 

“A school garden is a powerful environmental education tool,”  Button said. “Through gardening, students become responsible  caretakers. Also, they have an opportunity to engage in agricultural  practices on a small scale, learning about the responsibilities that  impact land cultivation.”   For land and garden services, people can hire

The TJC garden is produced by the Green Committee with  Button’s leadership; however, the garden is open to any member of  the TJC community.  

The TJC garden is located behind Potter Hall and the Genecov Science Building

Dr. Manouchehr Khosrowshahi, professor of government, has  been part of the garden project for the past few years. He helps  plant, water, weed out, trim and decorate the garden.  

“The garden is one of the best projects at TJC to benefit everybody.  The garden provides a place for experiencing nature, which is proven  

to benefit mental health and emotional well-being,” Khosrowshahi  said. “Gardening creates a sense of community.” 

The garden has a variety of plants such as turnips, green beans,  basil, oregano, mint, tomatoes, pepper, sweet potatoes, sage, muscat grapes, kale, pumpkin, cantaloupe and garlic. Khosrowshahi added  he expects asparagus “to be productive in about a year.” The garden is also experimenting with ginger and turmeric.  

The garden also serves as a source of free produce to the local  community.  

“They collected and donated over 300 lbs of vegetables during their first crop in the summer of 2017, so since that summer harvest they have not donated any vegetables outside of the community and witnessed more of their own community engage the garden,” Button said. 

Khosrowshahi explained what students should know if they want  to help with the garden.  

“We encourage students to be a part of gardening projects.  However, it must be done under the Green Committee’s direction  to avoid duplication and waste,” Khosrowshahi said. 

The Green Committee meets at 4 p.m. every Thursday in  Vaughn Conservatory. Students should contact Button at rbut2@ if they are interested in joining the committee and/or  helping maintain the garden

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