Elle Perrin
Student Writer

Photo courtesy of Elle Perrin.

Gardening is not just about growing things. It’s about tending to the things we are growing and caring for them with a faithful effort. Sometimes we have to get a little dirty in order to make something beautiful—something Messiah’s sustainability program knows all too well with their work in the Grantham Garden.

Some of you may be wondering, what makes the Grantham Garden so special?

The student-led garden and was started by Messiah students in 2007. The first garden was placed between Kline and Frey and it has expanded to include a second, larger garden across the train tracks, as well as 28 chickens and four beehives.

Senior environmental science major and garden student coordinator, Madi Keaton.

“The garden plays a huge role in both the Messiah community and in the wider community,” says senior environmental science and garden student coordinator Madi Keaton.

“I think that this is especially true in the summer, when food production is at its peak. While there are less students on campus, the ones that are here often have more free time to walk around in the garden and help out. We have lots of community members that walk their dogs and exercise on campus and they love to stop by and ask questions,” Keaton said.

The garden sparks interests not just in nature, but also in sustainability on campus and in the community. Keaton has found that sustainability has had an impact on her daily life.

“I see [sustainability] in the bees from our hives pollinating the flowers hanging in baskets along the paths. I see it walking past the rain gardens by the parking lots that collect excess rain water so that there is less flooding and washing of chemicals into the Breeches. I see it when I walk past North Complex and see the solar-thermal panels on the roof providing all of the hot water for showers. I see it in the compost buckets in my friends’ rooms and in the compostable to-go containers and cups that The Falcon and The Union use.”

The Grantham Garden promotes self cultivation as well as community.  You can learn how to tend your own gardens as well as how to get involved with the community garden at the annual Sustain-A-fest on September 29. Any form of growing is a process, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be an enjoyable one.