Community garden hosts garden party

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Brian Winters

The Southern Miss Community Garden Club hosted a garden party and succulent sale outside the Walker Science Building Friday, March 1. The succulents were being sold from $2 to $7 as a way for students to start their collection.

The garden club started four years ago. The organization was started so that Southern Miss could have a community garden and have a student-led club. The club shares two tables inside the greenhouse with the students and professors of botany labs. Members of the club have full access to the greenhouse.

Southern Miss students and Hattiesburg community members came out to buy succulents and enjoy the garden.

“We planted our crops earlier in the day for the spring planting season,” Matthew Aiken, a senior marine biology major and vice president of the garden club, said. “Now we are having our giant succulent sale with music, and it is fun.” The club tries to have a variety each time there is a succulent sale. The sales are the main fundraiser for the group.

The money is used to buy more succulents, fertilizer and soil for the greenhouse, so the club can be self-sustaining. T-shirts are also sold by the organization for the same purpose.

Kefalari Carnes from Ellisville, Miss. found out about the event from Facebook. “It is a nice event, and it has good prices,” Carnes said. “I would possibly come back. I like to support plants no matter what.”

Olivia Martins, a sophomore pre-nursing major, follows the group on Facebook and saw the party was happening. Martins said she believes the sales are a good way to bring the Southern Miss community together. 

Matt Dunning, a senior biology major, is a recent member of the garden club. “It can bring a lot of community members in,” Dunning said. “A lot of people from outside the university are coming to buy succulents and enjoy the nature of gardening.”

The garden club has a program called Adopt-a-Pot where students can plant something in the greenhouse and tend to it until it is ready to be harvested. The cost for adopting a pot is $5 and comes with your plant of choice. The idea behind it is for students who may not have the time, space or light can grow their plant at Southern Miss.

The plants being offered for the Adopt-a-Pot program include broccoli, okra and tomatoes and more. If a student can not water the plant, they can send a message to the club, and a member will water it for them. Students may keep the plant and pot for as long as it survives but can buy another pot for the same price.  

More succulent sales will be held every second Friday for the rest of the semester. The sales will be held at the Shoemaker Square fountain and will be cash only. “We post them all on our Facebook page, the Southern Miss Community Garden,” Aiken said. “I am the one who responds if there are any questions.”