Utah Tech’s Garden Club cultivates community and wellness

Utah Tech’s Garden Club, located at the Institute for Continued Learning’s backyard, cultivates not just plants but a community of relaxation and giving. With a motto of “plant, thrive and repeat,” members nourish both the earth and their souls, whether through growing diverse crops or finding peace in yoga sessions in nature. Abigail Byington | Sun News Daily

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Birds chirping, the smell of fresh vegetables and engaging activities are what you will find at Utah Tech University’s Garden Club.

With the club motto of “plant, thrive and repeat,” club members join to learn more about gardening and creating clean growing habits.

Club President Kaelyn Roman, a junior elementary education major from Ely, Nevada, said, “We want this [club] to be a place of happiness and relaxation [while supporting] mental health and mental wellness.”

From herbs to vegetables, this club grows a variety of plants. All food grown is given to club members to eat and enjoy. With a wide selection, eating and using edible plants is easy for club members. Some of the food they have grown include:

  • cilantro
  • basil
  • green onion
  • carrots
  • bell pepper

Tamia Rainey, a senior art major from Las Vegas, said: “The easier plants [to grow] would be chives. It’s been an interesting thing. Right now it’s slow growing, but you just have to get patient with planting food and any other type of plant.”

Roman said, “We eat it [the food] a lot of the time… I want to get in touch with food shelters to feed and give back to the community and give back that way.”

April is National Gardening Month. Club meetings not only involve getting hands dirty and learning about gardening; attending the club comes with creating memories.

One future goal Roman has before leaving Utah Tech is to help the community and campus. Some ideas in mind are to help with access to fresh food and to spread awareness about healthy growing habits.

A goal Roman had this semester was to get the club better known around campus. One way they have done this was by partnering with the Utah Tech Trailblazer Activities Team to have a yoga night and make fairy gardens on March 21.

One of the popular and reoccurring activities is yoga. This may seem like a strange activity for a gardening club to do, but it is very beneficial and relaxing to do yoga outside. A study published in The Journal of Holistic Nursing found that practicing yoga outside led to decreased tension, anger and depression.

Amy Gloeckner, a junior media studies major from Caliente, Nevada, teaches yoga for the club. She said, “It’s a very grounding experience [doing yoga outside].”

Roman said, “We wanted to do yoga [nights] for the smoothing and calming aspect.”

The ambiance of the weekly yoga nights brings a stress-free environment to the club. Enclosed in a backyard of plants, trees and animals, the yoga nights have been a popular activity among club members.

The Garden Club has upcoming service opportunities. The club will partner with the St. George Children’s Museum to teach children the importance of gardening. They will also be working with Circles to teach children the importance of eating healthy. Both events will be April 20.

The club is located in the backyard of the Institute for Continued Learning. Club meetings are on Thursdays at 5 p.m.

Rainey said: “My first year coming to this school, I was really excited there was actually a garden club. I’ve always wanted to garden and kind of try to do it on my own, but it was a struggle. Having a group made it feel a bit more easier.”