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How our garden grows

A team of Messiah College students and staff dedicate countless hours to the College’s quarter-acre, community organic garden located in the heart of campus. Produce harvested from the garden is sold to shareholders in a community-supported agriculture model. These photos demonstrate how a barren patch of land can become a bountiful garden through the hard work and commitment of a few dedicated gardeners.

Community Garden student volunteer Rita Testa talks about the garden’s growing season after a hot, dry summer.
Garden overview Seed markers
May 21: The land had been prepped and many of the seedlings had been planted, but the garden was a relatively barren landscape with little visible growth. May 28: Markers tell what is planted in each row.
strawberries turtle
May 28: Strawberries, one of the season’s first crops, begin to show color. June 3: This turtle is a permanent resident of the biology department and usually spends his days in the College’s greenhouse. Occasionally he roams the garden.
overview blossoms
June 11: What a difference a few weeks make! The garden is looking greener and a bountiful harvest seems more promising! June 18: Blossoms are a common sight!
June 25: Plants are healthy and thriving. July 8: The summer is hot and dry, and student volunteers make efforts to water in the early morning and evening hours.
overview melons
July 15: Hard to believe that this was just a barren plot of land a little less than two months ago. July 30: Ripening melons and squash demonstrate that the student volunteers’ hard work is paying off.
August 10: Blossoming sunflowers are a sure sign that summer is winding down. August 10: Cherry tomatoes aplenty!
sorting produce peaches
August 19: Students sort a week’s harvest. The campus’ dining services operation gets the largest share. August 19: A few newly planted peach trees brim with fruit.

Photographs by Kelsy Myers `11

Video by Scott Markley `12

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