What’s up with the UNF Ogier Gardens?

Mariana Mejia, Reporter

Featured Image by Michael Herrera.

In recent weeks, COVID-19 has made a stump for returning students, but there’s always thyme for the UNF Ogier Gardens. The Ogier Gardens isn’t only meant for gardening. Students come to get free hand picked food, volunteer hours, extra credit, go to events, to relax with close friends/family, or adopt a veggie/fruit bed for a club or an organization.

Student volunteers are the main force behind up keeping the garden. Photo by Michael Herrera

During COVID-19, it’s hard for students to know what’s open on campus and what is not, especially when many websites may have not been updated. UNF Ogier Gardens and the Wellness Recreation Center assures students that they are not closed, but their operating hours have shifted since COVID-19, and will shift again until they hit September 20. This shift is to ensure their crops are safe and well cared for. 

The Ogier gardens Fall hours of operation:

  • Tuesdays & Fridays 8a.m. – 11a.m.
  • Wednesdays 8a.m. – 11a.m. and 4p.m. – 8p.m.

The hours will change starting September 20:

  • Tuesdays 9a.m. – 12p.m.
  • Wednesdays & Fridays 9a.m. – 12p.m. and 1p.m. – 5p.m.

Next to Lot 18 is where, you can find the UNF Ogier Gardens. It’s been on campus for seven years (started in 2012) and it’s been tucked away from student’s behind a small path behind a field- no wonder why students can’t seem to find it. Directly into the path, you should find Kevin Anderson, M.P.H. Adjunct Professor and Ogier Gardens Coordinator. Anderson coordinates with volunteers and his workers to create a healthier community through nature contact while growing crops and social connections. 

Kevin Anderson, the Ogier Gardens’ coordinator, breaks ground for the new greenhouse. Photo by Michael Herrera

The Ogier Gardens also provide and demonstrate sustainability and biodiversity, as well as nourishes people/students with local, fresh, and delicious food. Anderson also said that they partner with the Lend-A-Wing to supply fresh produce for students while the Cafe gives the Ogier Garden any leftover vegetable or fruit waste. The leftover waste is used as compost for the soil, they get over 40 tons of food waste and the plants love it because it produces a large amount of carbon dioxide.

The Garden is currently only open to students, which means that a lot of their unused produce will be donated to North East Florida, a local food pantry. They also have their own Crop Harvest event every year. Unfortunately, because of COVID-19 UNF is not allowed to do that this year, but they hope they will next year. Anderson said that all the students have lots of fun and that the Ogier Gardens committee provides food trucks, live music, and games like barrel runs. The food trucks at the Harvest have very good relation with the Ogier gardens coordinator and the disability center because they offer jobs for the disability students through a website called, “Berry Good Farms” – It’s a very friendly community that helps them get into the real world and actively interact with other hard working members in their community. 

Get involved in a safer, cleaner, and greener environment. If you’d like to know more about how to get involved or want more information about the Ogier Gardens, go to The UNF Ogier Garden WebPage or Instagram page @unfogiergardens.


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