Residents in Family Housing Start Planting

by Corinne Twigg | Oct 26, 2015
Family Garden 2015
One of the major benefits of attending the University of Valley Forge (UVF) is the rich opportunity to build lasting relationships in a thriving community. Family students living on campus are succeeding in creating an environment to grow, literally, in fellowship with one another.
What started out as a humble family student garden turned into a rewarding new hobby for many of the families living at UVF. Brandon and Renee Williams pitched the idea to other summer residents to start a community garden just a few yards from the residence hall where family students live. After gaining support from a number of families, the proposal to begin planting was approved.  
A Facebook page was created this summer to organize a biweekly schedule for watering, weeding and other garden-related chores. Families signed up for a specific day to do their task and oftentimes children accompanied their parents to help.
“It’s about more than just growing and picking fresh vegetables,” says junior Margaret Erickson, “It’s about creating community.”
Erickson remarked on the positive changes the garden brought to the families living in UVF housing. “Everyone was involved,” she says, “It gave spouses who are not currently enrolled students a chance to connect with everyone.” Approximately 20 students and their families were involved with the UVF garden, and there is a growing interest from new families who moved in this fall to get involved next year.
The garden had its fair share of setbacks ranging from hungry deer to Japanese beetle infestations. In spite of these obstacles, the gardeners living in Building 32 successfully harvested a variety of vegetables, fruit and herbs which included tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, squash, kale, watermelon, parsley, sage and basil. The residents also planted sunflowers and marigolds, which brightened and charmed their garden. 
“We’re already working on plans for next spring,” said resident Charity Schneeberger. “We'd like the garden to be a lasting part of the family community here at UVF, even long after we've graduated.”