OKCU Community Garden
Having a community garden is a significant investment of time, resources, energy and commitment. At OCU we’ve started the process of building a garden we can both be proud of and that fits with our University mission and strategic initiatives.
Three years ago, Clayton Miller, now a senior religion major at OCU, had a vision to create a sustainable garden that could be owned and operated by students, community members, faculty, staff and guests. To that end, Fall of 2009 saw the inauguration of two beautiful raised garden plots just north of the OCU Baseball field, on the corner of Kentucky Avenue and 27th. These beds were donated by OCU Facilities and were tended by Clayton and a group of dedicated students.
These beds provided a wonderful opportunity to get the Community Garden started at OCU and has proven to be a popular place to come, hang out and harvest some delicious veggies. However, there’s been a vision to have the garden be a more focal point of Campus Life and to integrate it with academic and service learning components of the academic curriculum.
A New Era
The installation of Robert H. Henry as president of OCU proved to be a turning point in the life of our Community Garden. Immediately upon taking over the post as president, Henry directed the construction of four beautifully adorned garden plots just East of Wilson House, next to the Methodist Conference Center.
Henry personally hauled compost and planted tomatoes, thai peppers, Italian and bell peppers, heritage eggplants, tomatillo, sweet potatoes, basil of several varieties, fennel, dill, rosemary, tarragon, oregano, chives , thyme, parsley, mint, and broccoli. In the span of three months, basil, tomato plants, peppers, and other spices and herbs are growing in great quantities. Not content with just four plots, President Henry is commissioning additional beds to be prepared for more delicious offerings.
Items from the OCU Community Garden are already being put to good use. Basil and other herbs are being used for pizzas in the OCU Caf and we’re looking forward to more items as the garden matures.