1)  What does it cost to adopt one of the raised garden beds?

There is no cost for adoption.  The beds, along with basic garden tools, are provided free of charge.  The beds already contain quality garden soil complete with fertilizer.  A hose with a spray nozzle is located at the garden site for watering your crops.

2)  Who is eligible to adopt a garden bed?

Small groups of students, staff, or faculty can sign up together as a group to adopt a full garden bed or one half of a bed.  Groups can be as small as two people or as large as four.

3)  How does my group go about adopting a garden bed?

First read the campus community garden rules.  Click here.  Choose a main contact person for your group.  That person will fill out the community garden bed adoption form.  Email that form to Dr. Martha McKevlin at mckevlim@mailbox.sc.edu.  All members of the group will need to sign a liability waiver.  Return the liability waivers to the main office.  Dr.  McKevlin will contact you about which bed(s) are available and put you on a waiting list if there are no available beds.

4)  Once my group has adopted a garden bed, what do we need to do to start growing some vegetables?

Groups can purchase their own plants ready for planting at several farm and garden stores around town.  Some plants can be grown straight from seeds placed directly into the beds.  Groups are also invited to start seeds in small trays and then transplant the seedlings into the garden beds.  There is a location in the science building set aside for this purpose. Look for the lighted bench with trays, pots, and soil in the green room.

5)  How do I know what to plant and when to plant it?

Check out the Carolina Community Garden Resource Guide.  It features a chart showing suitable crops and recommended planting dates for the coastal plain for each planting season.

6)  Who is responsible for taking care of my group’s garden bed?

The members of your group are completely responsible for the care of your plants and the appearance of the bed.  Your group should weed your bed, water your plants during dry spells and remove any dead plants or rotting vegetables.  A wheel barrow is available to help out.

7)  What happens if our group fails to take care of our adopted garden bed?

Well, we hope that doesn’t happen, but the committee will monitor the beds to make sure that they are being well maintained and do not become eyesores.  Should your garden bed need tending, your group will be contacted by email to inform you if you need to do some weeding, watering, or replanting.  If after two emails, the conditions of your garden bed don’t improve, your bed will be reassigned to the next group on the waiting list.  Both groups will be sent an email documenting the change in “ownership.”

8)  What can we do with the produce that my group grows?

Whatever you want! Your group will make that decision.  Hopefully that will include taking it home and sharing it with your family and friends.  If you are adopting a bed as part of a community service project, you could donate the produce to a church or food pantry or select a community member that would benefit from a more nutritious diet. Opportunities abound—everyone loves fresh produce!

9)  How long can my group keep using one of the raised garden beds?

If no other group is waiting, a successful group can maintain a bed for as long as they want.  If there is another group waiting, then each adoption will be limited to one semester or planting season.  Depending on the crop, we can grow something all year round here in the low country.  Fall gardens can produce most of the same crops as spring gardens.  Winter gardens can produce collards, mustard, turnips, rutabagas, broccoli, lettuce, and many other crops.  If at any time a group wants to give up an adopted bed, please just contact Dr. Martha McKevlin via email.

10)  Can I just give my bed to another group?  No, because there may be some other group on the waiting list that you are not aware of.  You would need to officially give up your bed and then the other group would need to fill out the adoption application and be put on the waiting list.  However, your group could always allow new members as long as the original contact person remained in charge of the group.

11)  How can students get more involved in the governing processes of the community garden?

We would like to see enough student interest in the community garden that students would eventually become responsible for the over-sight and decision-making for the campus garden.  The club would still have a faculty advisor, Dr. Martha McKevlin, but would be responsible for any changes to policy or to initiate adding additional beds to the garden, including starting a garden on west campus.