Tuesday, September 22, 2020

360 Video: Growing Your Own Food in Oxford

Story by Allen Brewer, Abby Ray Thompson and Kazi Mehedi Hasan
agbrewer@go.olemiss.edu; arvance@go.olemiss.edu; kmhasan@go.olemiss.edu

While the leaves are falling and the temperatures are beginning to drop, volunteers and plot-holders at the Oxford Community Garden are preparing to bring in their hard-earned harvests.

Tiffany Bensen, a volunteer garden manager, says it’s a place to grow food and friends.

“The Community Garden provides people who want to garden but don’t have enough space or sunlight a place to garden,” Bensen said. “Plot-holders at the community garden then have the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.”

Ole Miss graduate student Sima Bhowmik was given a plot in the garden by a former Ole Miss professor who asked her to take care of it for him while he is in Maine. 

“To grow vegetables in a garden is my passion,” Bhowmik said. “In my country, I used to do that but when I came to the United States I could not find a place to do this.”

Bhowmik said that she has enjoyed being able to grow vegetables of her own to provide for her family.

“Growing your own plants can save you so much money,” Bhowmik said. “Over the past three months, I have saved close to $150 just by growing my own vegetables.” 

Benson said cooler weather can help make the harvest more plentiful. 

“Warm days and cool nights are perfect for growing greens,” Bensen said. “There are hardly any insects or diseases to worry about.”

Right now, the most common vegetables growing are beets, carrots, radishes, lettuce, arugula, turnip greens, mustard greens, collards and kale.

Lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes and carrots are examples of produce garden members can grow in their plots. Photo by Allen Brewer.

Bensen also said that the garden has plots reserved for donating to The Pantry.

“We are always seeking volunteers who are willing to help with this effort because it requires time every week,” Bensen said. “The committee harvests every Tuesday morning and then takes the fresh produce directly to the pantry.”

People who are interested in purchasing their own plot can do so, but the prices vary depending on the size. Included in the price of the plot is a $10 membership fee.

To get involved in the garden, either to rent a plot or just to volunteer time, contact oxfordcga@gmail.com or their Facebook page.