FAU’s Mission Green opens their new on campus garden

Alejandra Parada

Students are invited to get involved in the community gardens which currently consists of empty plots. Photo by Christine Capozziello.

As the new year begins, and resolutions on getting healthier begin, Mission Green has finally opened their new garden.

FAU students, faculty and the Henderson middle school were invited to participate in MGSA’s garden grand opening on Friday, Jan. 20. The garden consists of 4×8 beds and is located at the greenhouse, next to the T-building and behind PBSC. Anyone can sign up and plant vegetables, fruits and other plants.

The planting started that same day. “There are eight beds with at least two to three people per bed, and two more beds are available for anyone who is interested,” MGSA President Kelsey said. “If there are more people expressing the need for planting that will initiate approval for gardening more beds”.

Mission Green had a budget of $2,200 and most of the materials were brought in from Home Depot. The plants are all organic, and the soil was generated by The Urban Farmer, south Florida’s leading resource for supplying local community gardens and farmers. MGSA planted a mango tree, and a trendy Florida restaurant plant called the miracle fruit plant which changes your enzymes.

Crane said this project was a group effort. “This wouldn’t be possible without the help of Mission Green board members, the volunteer center on campus, the approval from Florida Atlantic’s president, SAVI, SGA, Farmer Jay and the MG advisor Jill Rosen.”

Like many of the MGSA board member, Sarah Huang was gardening for the first time. “I love the environment and studying it,” said Huang. “And as soon as I saw it at club rush I knew I wanted to jump in.” Huang loved the idea of growing her own organic food instead of going out to the store and buying it.

“Mission Green would like to have monthly workshops in our garden to involve everyone at FAU,” said Crane. She plans to invite local farmers, and gardening organizations to provide insight on gardening basics.

In addition, Mission Green invited Farmer Jay who talked about his gardening methods. “I am currently researching different techniques to explore different ways of gardening and I would like to extend myself and work with FAU.” According to Farmer Jay he has seen many schools switch to organic style food.

With this in mind Crane plans to turn this garden into a mini forest at FAU.  “I would love to mimic the natural forest design that Florida Gulf Coast University has is a permaculture technique and resembles an actual forest.”

By having their own forest, MG will also be providing food for Boca Helping Hands, a food and assistant program, as they have weekly soup kitchens.

Kelsey Crane, president of Mission Green, and Vice President Johnny Yuen, cut the ribbon at the grand opening ceremony for the new community gardens on Jan. 20. Photo by Christine Capozziello.

MGSA took the real food challenge principal in mind when constructing the garden. This challenge promotes the sustainability of ‘real’ food throughout high schools and college campuses nation wide. “I would love to see good healthy foods for students by the students,” said Crane.

As the ribbon was cut for the gardens grand opening, advisor Jill Rosen said, “This is absolutely the perfect area to start this event and we have a vision of how this can grow to be, this is going to start out small, but its up to you guys as students to see how far this thing can literally grow.”

If you have a green thumb or not, but would love to start planting your own organic food visit Mission Green’s garden sign up page at www.fau.edu/mgsa/garden.