Registered student organization Campus Grow celebrated its fifth year of successful harvests last night at its Harvest Party.
The RSO reaches out to Mount Pleasant residents and students by donating food grown in a community garden behind Theunissen Stadium.
The party brought together community members by providing a potluck meal and activities such as gourd painting and live music by Kavazabava, a local band.
Campus Grow advisor Patti Travioli said the Harvest Party, as well as the season kickoff Garden Party, were both created to bring together all the participants of the organization.
“The Harvest Party is just kind of an end of the year potluck get together, and we call it ‘Harvest Party’ because it’s harvest season and gardeners and community members can come out and celebrate the end of growing season,” she said.
Those who attended the party praised the work of Campus Grow and some even had a personal investment in the organization, like Dewitt junior Taylar Miller.
“I’m president of Student Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, and I came because we’re trying to collaborate more with the events they’re doing since our organizations have similar goals – plus this is just a really cool thing to check out,” she said.
Campus Grow is dedicated to offering people, who might not otherwise have the opportunity to grow fresh produce.
“Campus Grow’s mission is about offering a community garden setting and managing that space so there’s fresh, local, healthy food options for people who might not normally have it,” Travioli said.
Those people can be virtually anyone, from Mount Pleasant residents to CMU students and faculty. There is no limit on those that can grow produce on the designated plots the organization provides.
According to Campus Grow President Jackie Maggioncalda, the garden is designed to give everyone a chance to grow their own produce.
“We have different components of the garden, so we have designated areas that we donate from to give back (to the community), but our main focus is to give everyone an opportunity to grow produce,” Maggioncalda said, “but we donate to places like the food pantry on Broomfield and then also the Commission on Aging.”
Vice President Courtney Lorenz said all donated food is planted and maintained by plot-renters on a volunteer basis.
“Everyone takes their extra plants at the beginning of the year and plants them (in a designated area.) Volunteers take care of them and then we donate that produce,” Lorenz said. “Last year, we donated more than 500 pounds and this year we’re getting close to that as well.”