Student grows community garden to help those experiencing food insecurity

Natalie Nation '19

Natalie Nation '19 at the community planting event.

Sponsored by the St. Catherine University BioClub and Food Justice Coalition, the St. Kate’s community garden provides food for students across campus. This spring, student Natalie Nation ‘19 organized an event for members of the St. Kate’s community to come together to plant and raise seedlings in their own individual pots. The sprouts will be transplanted to the larger outdoor garden later this spring. The produce grown in the garden are donated to the St. Kate’s food shelf, where students who otherwise may not have enough to eat can receive fresh vegetables grown for them by their community members.

“This garden has been an important part of my time at St. Kate’s,” said Nation. “Knowing that people struggle with having enough healthy food to eat, I saw it as an opportunity to help out. I hope this garden continues after I graduate, and keeps providing such an invaluable service.”

Nation was able to organize the community planting event thanks to a grant she received from the National Catholic Sisters.

The garden began as a small test plot in the fall of 2016. Its popularity quickly caught on, and an expansion that took place in the summer of 2017 resulted in the four larger, outdoor beds that exist today. The expansion was made possible thanks to funding from the College for Adults Student Advisory Board. Members of the Food Justice Coalition and BioClub built the new beds themselves, and were responsible for planting and tending the garden throughout the growing season.

During the first year of the new and improved expansion, the garden bore a variety of herbs, vegetables and bee-friendly flowers. This year, the seedlings planted by the larger St. Kate’s community will include bell peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, squash, sunflowers and chives.

By Kristen Wunderlich