Every other Saturday morning, a few students can be found digging, weeding and tending the grounds outside of the TCU Wesley Foundation.
These students are volunteers working to turn the TCU Community Garden outside the Wesley Foundation walls into a place of thriving greenery.
According to the organization's website, the mission of the garden "is to cultivate community in a living laboratory for the education and enjoyment of fresh and local food, exploring sustainability issues, and fostering creative and spiritual growth.”
Located behind Smith Hall at the intersection of Lubbock Avenue and West Lowden Street, the TCU Community Garden exists to teach students about sustainability and to help them develop new skills, garden director Cameron Navarro said.
“A community garden itself, by basic definition, is a piece of land that’s shared for a common use by others,” he said.
In addition, the garden provides a space for students to put forth any new ideas by providing the land and tools they may need, Karli Beckner, a sophomore graphic design major, said.
“It’s pretty chill. You can come here with ideas of your own, and they’re always really receptive and let you just kind of do your own thing,” she said.
Other volunteers said the opportunity to garden is not just a testing ground but also a chance to slow down the hectic pace of the average college student's life.
“It’s a good outlet for students who are into this and into more homey and outdoor activities," sophomore journalism major Brian Mason said. "It’s a slower pace. It’s therapeutic.”
Navarro said that although the program is open to all students, it lacks a solid base of volunteers who can continually tend and work with the garden. With student help that can be few and far between, the garden struggles to stay as healthy and lively as possible.
"Although we have many groups and students willing to come out to a workday or work on a certain project, the garden very much needs a core group of community members who can tend to it more regularly," Navarro said.
Always in need of a consistent and committed workforce, the TCU Community Garden accepts any volunteer help and is open to any new project ideas that students or organizations may have, Navarro said.
There is something more to gardening and producing your own perishable goods, he said. It is not just about digging a hole and watering a plant.
“Just to be outside in that soil, getting dirt under your nails, there is a connection there,” he said. “There is something very strong to be learned from the Earth and something very humbling that it can teach you that you can’t really learn in a lot of other ways.”