ULV gardening club sprouts fresh vegetables

Cassidy Furnari, president of the Botany and Gardening Club, picks fresh sage at the club’s open house Saturday. Members planted chard, broccoli and cilantro in the club’s garden, behind the Health Center on the corner of Second and E streets. Visitors were offered freshly picked fruits and vegetable, plus other refreshments./ Photo By Nanor Zinzalian
Cassidy Furnari, president of the Botany and Gardening Club, picks fresh sage at the club’s open house Saturday. Members planted chard, broccoli and cilantro in the club’s garden, behind the Health Center on the corner of Second and E streets. Visitors were offered freshly picked fruits and vegetable, plus other refreshments. / photo By Nanor Zinzalian

Brooke Grasso
Metro Editor

Behind the Health Center there is an area where students in the Botany and Gardening Club can see the products of their work and retreat to relaxation.

“Being in the garden, it is like a stress reliever, you get to see your plants grow and know your work will pay off,” said Megan Peralez, junior photography major and secretary of the gardening club.

The gardening club began in the Spring of 2014 and now has 15 members.

“We wanted to teach students about the importance of growing your own fruits and vegetables, because it is economically and environmentally sound,” said Cassidy Furnari, senior biology major and president of the club. “It is a place where students can learn about gardening and create a community.”

Furnari said that their garden uses significantly less water than mainstream produce production, and they do not use pesticides, so their food is organic.

Furnari said you never know what is on your food from a grocery store, but when you grow it yourself you can be sure.

The club did not initially have a garden on campus, but as of Earth Day the club now has 10 raised garden beds where they are able to grow their own food.

“One of the answers to the profound environmental issue we are facing, is gardening,” said Jay Jones, professor of biology and biochemistry and adviser of the club. “It is like saving three or more species with the act.”

Furnari planted zucchini, carrots, melons, pumpkins, cucumbers, herbs and more to tend to for the summer.

“We had a lot of luck and made a lot of progress,” Furnari said.

Furnari used four garden beds over the summer and came to the garden nearly every day to water and take care of the plants.

The end result was worth all of the hard work, as Furnari said nearly 40 carrots, 10 cucumbers and zucchini, many tomatoes and mini pumpkins were grown.

She even gave away some of the vegetables to nearby residents because she grew more than she was able to eat.

“It is a good way to see the product of your own work,” Furnari said. “You plant something, water and take care of it and then you are able to take it home.”

With the current drought, the club has reacted appropriately to conserve water.

Furnari said she only used four garden beds instead of all 10 over the summer, watered just enough to keep the plants healthy but not oversaturated and left watering cans outside to catch the water whenever it rained.

The club will be working with beans, garlic, cilantro, broccoli and more this fall.

Another goal of the club, according to Furnari, is to educate people on the different seasons of when they can grow certain things in comparison to others.

Furnari’s future goals for the club are to get more people involved in growing their own food in the garden, being self sustained and making the club more well-known.

“We got a slow start last year,” Jones said. “We are about ready to build a small tool shed now.”

The gardening club also works closely with the club SEEDS, Students Engaged in Environmental Discussion, to bring environmental awareness to students on campus.

Going on hikes and doing cleanups by picking up trash are other hands-on ways the gardening club gets involved with the environment.

The club meets Saturday mornings at 9.

“It is a time where you can feel the world around you that we are isolated from most of the time,” Jones said.

Brooke Grasso can be reached at brooke.grasso@laverne.edu.

Other Stories
Nanor Zinzalian
Other Stories

Latest Stories

Related articles

Enactus teams up to hand students free professional clothing

University of La Verne students picked up free clothes at the Clothing for Success event, held at the Campus Center Ballroom on Nov. 21.

Photography Club branches out

The Photography Club, which was started in Fall 2019, just before the pandemic, has made some notable changes. 

Campus has tepid interest in new Omicron booster

A recent informal survey on campus found that nine out of 21 students at the University of La Verne did not know anything about the newly updated  Omicron-specific COVID-19 booster that has been available since early September.

Holocaust survivor shares life story

Holocaust survivor Gabriella Karin returned to the University of La Verne on Sept. 22 to share her story and her art to about 40 students and faculty members in the Campus Center Ballroom. The lecture was hosted by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and the Tikkun Olam club.