Friday, April 16, 2021

DIG: Find peace through gardening

The Food Group Club partnered with Plattsburgh State campus dining to host an event that teaches students about the world of gardening Feb. 13.

The Food Group Club aims to make students aware about what they eat. The club creates a forum to socialize and learn about all types of food.

The student garden, which is located in the back of Sibley Hall, was introduced to PSUC about eight years ago for the students. However, the Food Group Club has been one of the only organizations that contributes to the student gardening. The purpose of the recent event was to try to bring back interest to students who can contribute to the garden and put it to good use.

As the president of the Food Group Club, PSUC senior nutrition major Cathy Lam reached out to many other clubs to try to bring as many students to the garden as possible.

“Our club is so small that it’s hard to have enough resources to put toward a successful and flourishing garden,” Lam said.

The main idea behind the garden is to create a better campus community and a resource for all students can enjoy. Having and tending to a garden can relieve stress because it brings awareness and allows connections for people to interact and find similarities, according to, an independent weekly email newsletter and website that is full of advice and information.

At the recruitment event, Chartwells Resident District Manager for PSUC campus dining Michael Williams spoke about what things he looks forward to happening related to the garden.

“I’ve been in the garden and looked at it. It needs some attention,” Williams said.

He wants to get students together to gather and discuss some common interests and then outline the steps that they can take to help with the future of the garden. Williams also said at the meeting that he is willing to use his own personal money to help get the garden back in proper shape.

Curt Gervich, an associate professor at PSUC’s Earth and Environmental Science department, said the garden was created in 2008 by two PSUC students who were associated with the Food Group Club. He said when the garden was first created, it formed the shape of a yin yang, an unusual way to first start a garden.

Ever since Gervich started working at PSUC in 2010, he has been someone who is highly involved in the student garden. In the summer of 2010, students were given the opportunity to get paid to work on the garden. Students earned an average of $2000 each, depending on the amount of hours they worked. The hiring process starts in mid-April of every year, this is still offered today.

“The students have just taken the food and either use it themselves, take them to the local food bank, give it to people that need it or distribute it to folks on campus,” Gervich said.

Amelia Flanery, a PSUC senior environmental science major, shared her experience about being a student worker for the garden.

Flanery worked as a paid student in the summer of 2013. She said that it was really cool because a lot of people came to help out. Local farmers, Gervich, his kids and other PSUC students were among some people who came to help. Flanery lived off campus but biked to the garden. Because it was enjoyable, she said she would do it again.

Gardening connects people to their environment and stimulates social interactions. The main ideology behind the garden was for the students to have a place where they can come together and grow. Growing crops, watering, fertilizing and digging soil together brings the PSUC campus community tighter. The Food Group Club meets at 7p.m. on Tuesdays in the Angell College Center in meeting room five.

Email Raheal Neequaye at

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