Community garden places food on Third Ward’s tables
The Center for Diversity and Inclusion and UH student volunteers came together to work on the UH Sustainability Community Garden, giving back to the Houston community for the third day of Community Action Break.
The garden, located on the corner of Wheeler Avenue and Cullen Boulevard, is dedicated to providing organic produce to the community and educating students on healthy living according to the UH community garden website.
Seven students, led by garden assistant Guadalupe Orozco, spent the day pulling weeds, harvesting crops and maintaining the garden.
The produce grown in the garden was then donated to food pantries in the Third Ward area, a location designated as a food desert, Orozco said.
A food desert is a place high in unemployment and poverty, and individuals who live in food deserts typically do not live within walking distance of a grocery store, Orozco said.
A pomegranate tree and a wide range of herbs and vegetables are planted in the garden. During the event, students harvested carrots, lettuce, turnips, collard greens and beets.
“I’ve never harvested before,” business marketing freshman Daniel McDonald said. “I thought we were going to do more planting, but we made pretty good progress.”
McDonald said this is his first time volunteering in the garden and learned about the event through the CoogNews emails.
“I would definitely recommend more people to do it,” McDonald said. “I think it’s nice that the University donates the produce to local pantries.”
After seeing the amount of work it takes to maintain the garden, McDonald believes that more organizations on campus should get involved.
“I think organizations volunteering for two to three hours would definitely help,” McDonald said.
Psychology senior Ja’Lissa Iles volunteers with the Metropolitan Volunteer Program, and they have reached out to the garden to volunteer on numerous occasions. Iles said she believes the garden staff should be responsible for reaching out to organizations.
McDonald and Iles agreed that the garden plays an important role in the community, despite the lack of support from organizations on campus.
“Having a community garden on campus is a positive thing,” Iles said. “It gives people in the community hope.”