Columbia-Adair County Garden Serves Community and Provides Hands-on Learning
LWC Assistant Professor of Biology Mike Bosela works in the Columbia-Adair Community Garden. The Columbia-Adair Community Garden project was initiated in the spring of 2014 and was designed to bring together individuals, families, businesses and civic organizations for the purpose of growing and sharing fresh food. Bosela has been the garden's manager since the end 2014.
The Columbia-Adair Community Garden project was initiated in the spring of 2014 and was designed to bring together individuals, families, businesses and civic organizations for the purpose of growing and sharing fresh food. Located between West Guardian and Monroe Streets, Lindsey Wilson College continues to work in conjunction with the Columbia United Methodist Church (owner of the property) and the Lake Cumberland Community Action Agency to maintain the garden and provide education to students and serve the community.
Assistant Professor of Biology Mike Bosela became the garden manager at the end of 2014 and has served in that role ever since. Bosela said that the garden has been a great benefit for multiple reasons.
“One of the important uses of the garden has been for student education via hands-on experiential learning,” said Bosela. “However, the garden also donates fresh produce to the Campus Kitchen program at LWC for inclusion in the meals that they prepare for their clients. In exchange the Campus Kitchen schedules a garden shift once a week.”
Bosela said that a voucher program is also an added benefit to the community.
“The Lake Cumberland Community Action Agency adapted their garden voucher program to allow subscribers to use their vouchers to rent plots in the garden, and that’s been a great.”
Bosela enjoys the added educational experience that the garden provides to students at LWC.
“I’ve been able to include community garden-themed service projects in sections of Topics in Science, and I’ve offered stand alone community garden courses,” said Bosela. “Because of our educational mission I also try to include new and unusual cultivars of crops. This year’s garden includes the Carolina Reaper (world’s hottest pepper), ground cherries, green tomatoes, stevia and others.”
Bosela said that it’s rewarding to be able to serve students and work toward the betterment of the community at the same time.
“Being able to share healthy and novel produce with the local community is important,” said Bosela. “It’s also important to be able to provide students with a learning experience that is visceral and practical. Working at the garden is something that students are more likely to remember and retain than standard classroom based activities or learning modules.”