1. You get to go outside
Let’s face it: You’ve been stuck in the library ever since the second week of classes. Your dorm room is starting to feel pretty cramped. After working so hard on that nice Summer tan, you’re now beginning to see the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. All you want is to feel the Sun on your face again, and Hope Gardens is the perfect opportunity for it. Stretch your legs and get a little exercise, because the library is for Winter!
2. You get to learn about gardening
And who doesn’t secretly want to be that peace-loving, romantic home-grown farmer type? Come on, it’s like free horticulture education anyway! Learn how to grow your own food, for your own nutritional and spiritual well-being. Not to mention becoming that good-looking, agro-chic gardener you always knew you were.
3. You want to help those in need
As much fun as working in Hope Gardens is on it’s own, you can feel good about helping others out too. Our urban farm efforts are focused on feeding the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community. We aim to address barriers to food access. The sad reality is many folks don’t have an easy way to the grocery store, let alone reliable access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Let’s make a difference!
4. You’ll interact with nature
You’ve spent 18 of the last 24 hours looking at a monitor while sitting in a boxed room. But you try not to think about that. Come out to Hope Gardens and experience the purest form of reality, the natural world. Ghandi said, “to forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves.” Who are you to dispute Ghandi? Besides, interacting with nature is good for you. Getting your hands dirty promotes healthy bacteria–and when flu season comes around you’ll be grateful you got involved!
5. You’ll make friends
And what better way to become close to someone? Take away all the distractions– cell phones, schoolwork, loud parties. When you’re out in the gardens, you’re kneeling in the grass next to your two new friends. You’re all weeding together and talking, and you realize how natural forming bonds comes while ripping roots out.
6. You get to eat good food
Your dining plan is just NOT cutting it, and eating out on Franklin is draining your savings account. Luckily, Hope Gardens hosts monthly Potlucks with tons of free and yummy food. A lot of it will come straight from our plots, so you know it’s fresh, healthy and delicious.
7. You’ll promote sustainable and local agriculture
You were born in the 90s when fastfood and processed snacks reigned supreme. But you’re part of a new generation, and those days are over. Your birthright is real, clean food. You want to make a difference, even if it’s small. And supporting local, sustainable agriculture is a powerful and easy step towards food justice and green living.
8. You’ll relieve stress
Your troubles are back at school. Gardening demands your attention and requires mindfulness. It’s meditative in it’s own way. Try it and see.
9. You want to leave your mark behind at Carolina
HOPE Gardens is a small operation, but every year we grow. Each generation of UNC students leaves something behind for the next. Over time, our roots have grown deep and strong. Become a part of an organization you can have longlasting pride and participation in.
10. You will cultivate community and humility
Hope Gardens is a community. We’re based around students, but we touch the lives of so many people in our area. When you work in the Gardens, you’ll meet all sorts of people from all walks of life. You’ll gain an appreciation for the necessity diversity–both in people and in plants. Cultivating crops is not unlike cultivating relationships; you’ll appreciate that there’s a certain equality in all things. You’re not the boss of the plants, nor are you the boss of other people. Rather, you’re a servant and participant. It takes a patience, and grounded humbleness to grow food. This translates to how you build friendships with others. It’s about cultivating humility and providing attention to those around you.
If you’re interested in getting involved with Hope Gardens this year, keep checking our website for information about how you can get more involved with garden workdays, cooking classes, food donations, and more.
We do carpool to the Gardens on Saturday mornings. The car meets in front of the Campus Y at 9:45am. Email us for more info!