A love of nature blooms at the FIU Garden Club

Members of the FIU Garden Club at the Florida Everglades National Park. Image via FIU Garden Club

Gabriela Muse | Contributing Writer

Not everyone knows where their food comes from before it hits grocery stores. FIU’s Garden Club gives its members a behind-the-scenes of that process of growing produce. 

The FIU Garden Club, founded through the Agroecology program under the Department of Health and the Environment, aims to educate members about gardening and its impact on the economy, environment and society. 

In between the FIU baseball stadium and nature preserve at the Modesto Maidique Campus, the FIU Organic Garden is visited by wild foxes and baseballs alike. The organic garden has a shade house, raised beds and a fruit forest that are shared by researchers, classes and the garden club.

“We want to copy nature, we want to imitate it and we want to respect it,” says garden manager and FIU student Alexis Quiroz.

Members of the FIU Garden Club. Image via FIU Garden Club

As a part of the Tropical Conservation Institute, the Garden Club works in collaboration with the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Everglades National Park, and Pinecrest Gardens, giving members both volunteering and educational experiences. Seasonal field trips to the locations allow members to interact with nature directly and explore the different ecosystems each of the locations has to offer.

One of the events the Garden Club hosts are trips to the Everglades in collaboration with the FIU Geology club. The trips offer a unique opportunity for members to gain insight on the ecosystem of the Florida Everglades and the importance of conservation. 

“By getting your hands dirty and interacting with nature you can appreciate the beauty of balance in nature,”said Quiroz.

Aside from educational opportunities, the Garden Club has plenty of socializing opportunities such as flower pressings, garden tours, and most recently a pumpkin carving event. The club gives away seeds and plants too.

“So far it’s been great, I’ve been watering plants indoors in the shade rooms and outside in the beds and organizing”, said club member Caroline Rey. “At some point I want to start growing my own crops.”

At their many events, students can learn more about the importance of sustainability and get hands-on experience with gardening and sustainability practices. 

The club’s Garden hours are held on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 1:15 to 3:15 PM and on Thursdays from 8 to 10 AM. Members can grow their own plants and can participate in the on-campus farmers market that takes place when excess crops are produced. 

“If you do join us at the garden, bring plenty of water,” joked club President Julio Soto.

The club announces upcoming events on their Instagram and students can get involved by adding them on Panther Connect.

The FIU Organic Garden | Gabriela Muse, PantherNOW