UVU has many sights to behold that are not only pleasant to look at, but also serve a purpose to benefit students, faculty and staff. One of the newest of these is the Horticulture Club Garden.
Located east of the UCCU Ballpark and southwest of the Pope Science Building, the new garden is right off a walking path overlooking the UVU Courtyard Fountain.
Constructed on May 12th, 2018, the Horticulture Club Garden contains various vegetables including three different squashes, four types of cucumbers, four different kinds of peppers, and over 20 varieties of tomatoes. There are also beets, radishes and a variety of herbs.
In addition to the multitude of produce within the garden, it also has a fully-automated watering system.
This irrigation system is comprised of a network of porous drip hoses strategically placed throughout the upper gardens, with sprinklers at the bottom. Utilizing a timer, the watering system is set up to ensure the plants only get watered for an hour every other day, in order to preventing over-watering.
Whitney Weinberg, a senior botany student who helps with the operations and maintenance of the garden, says that it has been a challenging yet exciting project to be involved with.
“The most challenging part was to make sure everything was getting water,” Weinberg said. “We had to play around with the pressure and angles of all the hoses.”
Weinberg, who is also the Botany Club president and Horticulture Club vice president, says that the production and sale of these vegetables goes directly back into paying for equipment and improvements for the garden and greenhouse.
Overseeing the garden is Horticulture Instructor and Greenhouse Operator Nick Read. Read (who led and oversaw construction of the garden) says that even though growing conditions aren’t ideal, he and his student colleagues are grateful for the opportunity to utilize the once-barren space.
“Growing on a slope is not ideal, and growing in soil would be better; the rockiness of the soil makes it challenging,” says Read. “We are just gracious to have this space.”
Both Read and Weinberg are confident that in time, they will overcome the challenges that come with managing a garden. Read says he and his team are “ambitious but realistic”.
While the garden is fairly large, Read, Weinberg and others still dig, plant, and fertilize all the plants by hand, all with the hope that the produce sold from the garden will provide funding for further growth and research.
Weinberg concludes that the garden coming to fruition (no pun intended) is a clear sign of UVU’s dedication to providing students with resources to indulge in their passion projects and academic research.
“For me, this garden is representative of how UVU supports the interests of their students,” Weinberg said. “I really appreciate that UVU has many professors and faculty that are willing to be mentors [who] support all sorts of projects if you are willing to bring forth ideas and make/carry out a plan.”
While exact dates have yet to be announced, the Horticulture Club will be holding vegetable and plant sales during the upcoming fall semester.
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