Elon Community Garden: Growing Food for Fun and Feasting

By Carolyn VanBrocklin

Although the wind is blowing planting materials across the lawn, students are busily working to break beds and plant seeds during the volunteer hours at the Elon University Community Garden.

The garden was developed as part of an environmental ethics class project, which examined food injustices in the Burlington community and how to alleviate them.

Students work to break the beds at the Elon Community Garden.

Students work to break the beds at the Elon Community Garden.

The garden started as part of a project for an environmental ethics class. The students’ mission was to find a solution to alleviate food injustices and get volunteers in touch with both the Elon community and the surrounding Burlington community. It also aims to self-empower participants, who can select and grow their own produce.

Bre Detwiler was part of the class that helped create the garden and has enjoyed consistently volunteering her time there ever since. “There’s a bigger impact since what you’re doing is going to feed someone,” Detwiler said.

John Hitchcock, co-manager of the garden, says that students can “make a bigger impact since what you’re doing is going to grow and feed someone.”

The garden gives volunteers access to nutritional foods; something many from Burlington are not able to do. Participants can plant a variety of herbs, flowers and other items such as tomatoes, squash and lettuce.

One of the main benefits of working in the garden is that students can work outside. “You get to choose what you want to do, and you can volunteer with friends,” Hitchcock said. “It’s not boring and you’re doing something that’s going to benefit the community.”

“Even if people just come here for a day or two, people appreciate how food is grown,” Detwiler said. “It’s life changing for people who eat the foods they grow.”

If you’re interested in volunteering, check E-net for more information.

Hear Bre Detwiler discuss some lessons she has learned while volunteering at the Elon Community Garden:


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