It’s Earth Day, do you know about the student garden on campus?

As spring quarter starts, farmers start planting their crops. The Central Coalition Garden is entering its second year and is excited about what the garden will bring to campus.

The  garden is located behind the psychology building and Wahle Apartments. With an expansive lot, the garden appears barren, recently plowed with fresh soil, as students and community members prepare to plant their first seeds on April 26. Benches and tables are set up in the corner for future gardens to admire the view of their growing crops.

Rebecca Pearson, a physical education and public health professor, initiated the effort last winter to have a campus garden created.  Following approval from the university, a space was prepared for the garden.

Ellensburg offers a climate that allows people to grow a variety of plants. Last year, the campus garden successfully grew potatoes, beets, beans, peppers, basil, watermelons, zucchini and squash.

With plenty of space available in the garden, the coalition is seeking more involvement.

“More students than I realized had gardens in their homes and apartments,” Pearson said. “We tell them to come plant at our garden; everyone is welcome.”

At the end of last summer, students had such high yields of vegetables they didn’t know what to do with it.

“We decided to donate it to the FISH food bank here in Ellensburg,” Pearson said. “After it was weighed there, it came out to 140 pounds of fresh produce.”

Pearson and the rest of the campus garden participants have even higher hopes for the upcoming season. Ideas such as building a new shed and having a fresh produce stand are being discussed.

“The success from last year really motivated us,” William Ligon-Bruno, a senior mechanical engineering major, said. “We have more ideas now since we have been through it once already.”

Wil Watters, senior public health major, finds the food he eats as not just delicious, but also rewarding.

“The vegetables are all so fresh when you taste them,” Watters said. “Something about the food you grow tastes different than what you buy at a store.”

If someone has limited or no experience gardening, do not worry.

“Anyone can garden,” Crawford said. “As long as you put soil into a pot or on the ground and put seeds in it then you can garden.”

For those who want to use the garden, getting assistance isn’t difficult.  As the community of student gardeners grows finding help will be no object.

“Everyone here is friendly,” Crawford said. “People here will gladly help you no matter what the problem is.”