As evidenced by their thriving new Instagram (@covgrowersclub), the 2017/2018 incarnation of Growers Club has lots to offer students at Covenant College. Sophomores Emma Gibson and Fiona Hubbard are leading the club this year, combining their visions to create a holistic and purposeful club.
Hubbard sees Growers Club as promoting both environmental responsibility and ability among the student body. With horticulturalist parents and an interest in international agriculture, she has a passion for the natural world and protecting it. In addition to educating others about stewardship, Hubbard believes Growers will be a way to remind students that “school is not the be all and end all” and is “first and foremost, an outlet for people,” just like gardening.
Gibson sees Growers Club as an opportunity to remind students of the value of “God’s tasty earth.” She believes learning how food is produced better connects students to the biblical principles of sowing and reaping. First getting involved with growing in her high school environmental science class, she learned how to grow and sustain a whole harvest and wants to share that knowledge with the student body.
In October, Growers Club installed new raised beds behind the commuter’s parking lot. Later in the month, around a dozen club members came out to fill the beds and plant fall veggies including onions, broccoli, collards, and cabbage. Since then, members take turns watering, weeding, and protecting the baby plants from harm. If the fall garden is successful, hopefully the spring garden can be grown from seed.
In the future, Grower’s will hold events like terrarium-making and Bonsai-trimming, in addition to connecting members to off-campus growing opportunities. Hubbard and Gibson believe by connecting with places like EdenThistle, a local sustainable farm, Covenant students can see the validity of a “little c calling” that engages the land. If the club’s popularity continues to grow, Hubbard and Gibson hope to raise enough support to rebuild the greenhouse, or at least build beds on Covenant’s main campus.
For the time being, those interested in joining the club are encouraged to get on the watering schedule and to email questions about their own growing pursuits. Gibson emphasizes, “No one has it figured out when it comes to plants. Things die, people get hurt; it’s a process. God’s creation is beautiful and complicated but worth fighting for!” In addition to developing an interest in horticultural methods, Growers Club activities provide an opportunity for students to take a break from school; and as Fiona says, “Get some dirt under their nails!” Hopefully, Growers Club will create an environment of curiosity, humility, and stewardship as students engage in the simple act of gardening.