Weekly gardening workday hosted to maintain UT Concho Community Garden

Sylvia Dominguez

A handful of UT students gathered at the UT Concho Community Garden Sunday morning in order to maintain the production of the organic produce grown at the garden.

The garden, which is open to all UT students, faculty members and local homeowners, serves as a learning experience for students who are new to gardening.

Environmental science sophomore Sahonara Gonzalez said she felt the garden provided students from urban areas an opportunity to learn techniques they would not otherwise know.

“I live in Dallas, and you really don’t get the opportunity to garden or learn much about getting a garden started,” Gonzalez said. “Gardening here really teaches [me] about all the hard work and effort that goes into growing food. It makes us appreciate more what goes on our plate,”  

Students planted a wide variety of seeds, including lettuce, beets, chard, basil and cilantro.

Law student Rachael Zummo said it was her first day gardening at Concho. She said she was excited to expand her knowledge of successful gardening techniques.

“I think it is good to grow your own food because you know where it came from and you know that it is purely organic and natural,” Zummo said. 

Zummo also said it makes her feel good knowing that there isn’t any unjust labor involved with the food’s production. 

Mechanical engineering junior Chris Tran said the process does require patience.

“Sometimes [it is] discouraging coming to the garden, because nothing really grows in the beginning, and it takes a very long time to see the seeds flourish,” Tran said. 

Before planting the seeds on Sunday, students had to pull weeds. Tran said the gardening process requires a significant amount of labor in order to keep the garden in good condition.

Despite the difficulties associated with garden upkeep, biology senior and gardening assistant director Caroline Harroun said she loved the sense of community the gardening work days provide. She said the garden serves a therapeutic experience for students. 

Harroun said that similar to many of the students, she enjoys taking the organic products home when they overgrow, which saves her a lot of money on foods that she would otherwise buy at the store. 

Zummo said that, in the end, the amount of time and effort that she and all of the other students invest in the garden will be very beneficial.

“Organic food is much more delicious and beautiful than non-organic fruits and vegetables but they tend to cost almost twice as much as non-organic produce,” Zummo said.