The season comes to an end, and the construction continues

The last two weeks at Ogier gardens have been productive to say the least.

Last week the new composite lumber beds were finished, which demanded a large crew.  The beds took all week to finish, primarily Friday.  The team lifted and moved the old beds, built the new ones, and had to level the ground and then place the new beds. It was hard work but it felt so good when it was all done!image

Besides good ole manual labor, hard work happened in the kitchen too! The calamondin tree had an abundance of fruit last week, so we used the fruit to make a marmalade (similar to a jelly or jam).  The marmalade consisted of calamondins, jalapenos, habaneros , and sugar! Over 60 jars were filled with this delicious marmalade, so every volunteer got to take home some of the liquid gold.

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One of the biggest editions in the last two weeks has been the winding pavement through the beds. All week a professional construction team built a large paved pathway through the adopt-a-beds so we can now be wheelchair accessible! This is a really nice edition because now we can be more inclusive than ever.

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The pavement will be officially completed this upcoming week.

What else happened this past week?

3/5- Intro to Organic Gardening workshop

3/6- What’s in my Food? workshop

- planting, finished harvesting the rest of sugar snap peas in the rows

What’s happening this upcoming week?

3/13 - Into to Permaculture workshop! @ 10 am at the garden

- pavement will be finished

Link / 9 Mar 2013

Check out our new garden promo video made by Arianna Davis and her production team!

Link / 6 Mar 2013

Blue skies and new editions

It has been yet another beautiful week out at the garden.  The nice weather has been causing the vegetables to thrive endlessly while the flowers bloom on the broccoli, cilantro, and the peas .  This week the entrance has been transformed into something much more prominent with the new arbor.  The arbor was hand crafted, and has beautiful detail of vines, leaves, and even a couple little critters: Look for the little worm on it! it is tricky!

Aside from the arbor, some other editions have arrived this week.  Picnic tables and benches are now scattered among the garden, making it a perfect place to not only work, but rest and lavish in all the hard work that has been done.  

On Wednesday, the crew had a blast at market days quizzing students on different kinds of vegetables and herbs.  Many took on the challenge and surprised themselves when they recognized kale, ginger root, and different types of greens.  As a reward koozies with the Ogier Garden carrot fist were given out as well as carrot stress balls.  

The week was wrapped up with a great volunteer day.  Volunteers harvested the remaining of the sweet peas, cabbage, Swiss chard, and a lot of cilantro.  The browning cilantro flowers were hung and dried in order to use for coriander seeds.

Whats happening this week?!!?

- Tuesday and Friday 9-12 volunteering

- Market day shenanigans (every wends in the student union 10-2)-  Come help make trivia and activities for students (if your interested in making activities or anything for market days contact Alee Heaston - n00676003@unf.edu)

- The garden beds will be officially created with new composite lumber

- Finishing planting the potatoes

- Harvesting and removing some fall vegetables

Hope to see you out there!

Even if you only have a short time during the day, you’re welcome to come eat lunch at one of the picnic tables, lounge on a hammock and enjoy the view!!

Oh Kale Yeah!

- The Ogier Garden Family

Link / 24 Feb 2013

Frosty February

During market days this past week the activity was making herb bouquets in the light of Valentine’s Day.  Bundles of rosemary, thyme, lemon grass, chard, cilantro, dill and many other herbs were given out to students, held together by colorful ribbons.  Students were questions and quizzed on the different kind of herbs, and also given a useful sheet with information about each herb and what they can be used in. 

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As the week progressed the weather got extremely cold, but the vegetables managed to survive the first frost !

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What’s happening this week?!

  •  The arbor will be installed Wednesday, which will beautifully drape over the entrance of the garden.
  • Garden trivia and prizes at market days! Come test your knowledge of vegetables, and win handy stuff while doing it.
  •  the adopt-a-beds will be broken down this week, and volunteers will be needed (Tuesday 9-12, and Friday 9-12)

Link / 18 Feb 2013

Sweet Treats and Tall Trellises

Last Friday, the crew got together to plant a variety of potatoes, including my personal favorite, sweet potatoes. Yum! These can be used as a healthy snack and provide a great source of fiber as well as several vitamins. The landscape was also vamped up with mulch that was spread around some of the fruit trees and garden beds. Of course, the cover beds couldn’t be empty any longer without driving someone crazy so the planting begun there. 

At market days, the shenanigans continued as the club painted a beautiful pot to be featured in the garden. Don’t forget the Compost 101 Workshop is on Wednesday the 13th at 10 a.m. Waste can open up a world of possibilities from fertilizer to giving the soil the extra kick it needs. There will also be a healthy cooking demo to promote heart-healthy eating in the Brooks College of Health at noon. 

Definitely come out for the volunteer days this week to help with fertilizing. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can get in touch with your architectural side and help out with the new trellises. Hope to see you all out there!

Link / 13 Feb 2013

Spring semester is in full force as of now!

Starting this week the Ogier gardens will have weekly announcements in this blog to tell you all of the projects that have been going on during the week, and what to expect in the future!

This week is the beginning of many changes and transitions in the Ogier Gardens.  This week three perennial demo beds were prepared, two of which will be filled with beautiful cut flowers and the other will be a cover crop bed which will be used for soil amendment.  Several seed flats were planted for spring crops, including lettuce, tomatoes, corn, okra, cotton and beans. 

On Friday, all of the volunteers transplanted three delicious fruit trees including nectarine, pomegranate and fig.  Everyone learned how to transplant a tree into a new area, and how to keep it thriving.

Also, this Friday was a plentiful harvest day! Volunteers picked bags full of lettuce, kale, mustard greens, radishes, sweet peas, romanesca, kohlrabi, broccoli, Swiss chard and herbs. The variety was endless and there was almost too much to even take home!

 

On top of being a volunteer day, this Friday was the first meeting of the month for the Organic Project.   At the meeting the main discussion revolved around the construction projects that will be evolving from now until the beginning of April.  This week the first construction project will be creating the new adopt-a-beds out of weatherproof recycled composite lumber. 

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED THIS WEEK:

Volunteer hours- Tuesday – 9am-12pm, Friday 9am-12pm

Main project this upcoming week:  Constructing new adopt-a-beds

Market Days

Come to market days in the student union Wednesdays 10-2 and help hand out fliers, talk about the garden to other students or even just help with the fun weekly activities that will be held at the Ogier Garden table

PHOTOGRAPHY

Calling all photographers!  Whether you are a professional photographer or you just love instagram, we are now going to be holding a weekly photo contest for the gardens!  Is all you have to do is take a photo at the gardens (of your friends, food, or whatever you want) and post it on the UNF Osprey Gardens Facebook page.  Each week a winner will be announced and prizes will be.

Link / 4 Feb 2013

First Fall Harvest Festival

Last weekend, before many students made their trips home for Thanksgiving, Osprey Productions and the UNF Organic Project hosted the Fall Harvest Festival at the Student Union. The festival included live music by two different local groups, The Fuzz and Lumagrove. There was also a few things the Osprey Plaza had yet to be exposed to, such as live animals for the petting zoo and a hayride to the green and back.

The petting zoo included several ducks, lambs, goats, rabbits, guinea pigs, a miniature horse, and even a cow. The animals were just as hungry as the students who were served free vegeta

rian chili, a variety of wraps, and other healthy options. And of course members from the Organic Project were giving away freshly harvested vegetables from the UNF Ogier Gardens including bok choy and mustard greens. Many students dressed in flannel or other farm themed attire to keep the spirit up.

Alee Heaston, the student in charge of public relations for the Organic Project, teamed up with Osprey Productions to create this event.

“We wanted to represent all of the wonderful volunteers that we’ve had at the garden since August and the great harvest from the fall season,” stated Heaston at the festival.

She also said that they plan on making this an annual event.

Students were also able to paint a clay pot to take home with them.  The pots were the perfect size for anyone looking to grow fresh herbs.  All the students involved in the festival were certainly having a great time even on a cloudy day.  Many were dancing to the music played by some of their fellow students while others took full advantage of the hayride or played a game of cornhole.

Link / 29 Nov 2012

Starting November Right

The garden was buzzing today with club members, students, bees, and even butterflies all doing their part.  Onions were planted, bricks were laid, and a scarecrow was stuffed.

With Harvest Fest quickly approaching, the staff has been making preparations to insure a fun-filled day with live music, hayrides, a petting zoo and of course, organic food all around.  The scarecrow will be an added touch for the month of November. Hopefully, he also knows how to scare away geese. At this point in time, he is unnamed and faceless but come next week Farmer Cleetis or Farmer Lynyrd will have a smile as bright as all the volunteers.

A new type of bed was also added to the garden today.  A stonewalled perimeter bed was installed in two corners to house blueberries and blackberries since berries usually require large amount of sunlight.

One of the best parts about volunteering at the garden is you’ll never leave hungry. There are so many different plants to snack on and even more to harvest and bring home.  Several students mentioned their lunch and dinners would be coming from the work they did today.

Link / 2 Nov 2012

Happy Halloween!

The Market Day Shenanigans crew spent the afternoon at the Student Union collecting compost from the pumpkin carving at the Osprey Productions’ table.

Pumpkin carving was free for all students with all the tools provided. Whether it was free-hand carving or with a stencil, the eerie art could be seen all around.  Students also showed their spirit by dressing up for the holiday.

The staff from Ogier Gardens always finds a way to get their hands dirty.  Today they were picking out seeds from the several bags of pumpkin guts for a great snack.  The rest could be used for compost in the garden. The healthy cooking demo one table over was giving away free samples of delicious and truly nutritious bruschetta.

It was a very exciting Halloween filled with fun and smiles all over by UNF students. Let’s hope it wasn’t just a sugar rush.

Link / 31 Oct 2012

Several organizations from UNF and all over Florida swarmed campus Wednesday for Duval County’s Food Day events. There was an amazing turnout and a strong atmosphere at the student union as vendors tabled from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Garbage on the Green also had an incredible turnout for their annual waste audit.

The day ended with a gritty and truth-filled film called “Dive!” which touches on food waste while following the lives of actual dumpster divers.  After the showing, there was a panel discussion with three very influential members of different movements around Jacksonville towards agriculture and reducing food waste.

Link / 23 Oct 2012

Breaking Ground

A view of what will soon be UNF’s organic garden and orchard.

Literally breaking ground to install all of the utilities necessary for a project this big.

Link / 7 Sep 2012

Colorful and Creative Brick Painting

One of the goals for the new garden is to create a versatile herb spiral. The staff had a genius idea of setting up a table at Market Days last Wednesday so any student who pleased could help paint bricks that will be used for the spiral.  It’s sure to be a colorful and unique way to plant different species of herbs. These are just some of the masterpieces that came out of it.

Link / 7 Sep 2012

UNF Blooms Osprey Gardens

A new half-acre farm is opening near Lot 18 this semester that will house fruit trees, row crops, and even a greenhouse. The Department of Health Promotions is getting a lot of publicity for the new Student Wellness Complex but what most students don’t know is that UNF Osprey Gardens is also something new and exciting being added to our campus this year.

The great thing about the garden is anyone is welcome to join.  Health Promotions offers Gardening Workshops for those interested in learning more about Organic Gardening or Permaculture.  Students or clubs can “Adopt-A-Bed at the Osprey Gardens,” which means they will be able to grow their own vegetables for free with the help of the Garden Coordinator Carmen Franz.

Franz strongly believes in strengthening our student body through organic gardening.  She says that it not only provides students with the knowledge to create and sustain their own food source but also get fit and get outside in the process.

Students that volunteer receive vegetables in return for their services.  The garden also has other options for people who would rather not get into the actual gardening positions.  There are opportunities for students to take photos of the garden and even donate their artwork to decorate the garden.  In fact, next week any student can swing by the Osprey Garden’s table at Market Days on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and help paint bricks for the farm.  There are endless opportunities that come with a community like this on our campus.  Another one being the new Organic Project which is UNF’s new Organic Gardening Club. 

Ross Keen, the student in charge of getting the ball rolling on the Organic Project spoke highly of the entire process going into the new Osprey Gardens. 

“We want to promote sustainability and self-sufficiency to UNF students and to give them an opportunity that is going to be valuable in the future when we will have more food scarcity,” Keen stated about the plans for the garden.

Everyone involved with the farm hopes that students will be able to come and help out and add their own creative element to the entire project.  Keen started the Organic Project to coincide with Franz’s plan make sure every student is represented in how the garden turns out.

The future plan for the organic vegetables from the row crops is for them to be purchased by Chartwells to use in the new Cafeteria. They will also be selling produce at UNF’s Market Days.  These crops could include anything from grapes from the vineyard to fresh heads of cabbage.  It’s up to the staff of the garden and the student volunteers to decide what they’d like to grow. This means the more students that get involved, the more say they will have in what they’d like to see from the new garden.  This creates another way to raise awareness around campus about the garden and the idea of sustainable food production methods. With money coming in from selling the crops, the staff hopes that next year the garden will be able to be self-sufficient without the help from the Student Life and Services Fee.

Contant Carmen Franz for more information: c.franz@unf.edu 904-620-1570

Organic Project Club: unforganicproject@gmail.com

Link / 6 Sep 2012