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Frederick and Ophelia Tate Gardens 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, Fla.

32224 CONTACT: Brittney Darner (904) 303-2348 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Target Audience: Academic Amazons

The Ogier Gardens Provide Jacksonville College Students with Free Organic Produce

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Dec. 3, 2013) The Frederick and Ophelia Tate Ogier Gardens give University of North Florida students an introduction to organic gardening, composting, and permaculture through weekly workshops. Students are taught to prepare meals with their free, nutritious groceries. Volunteers have the opportunity to take home vegetables directly from the gardens as well as learn how to grow food themselves. The knowledgeable garden staff holds the classes weekly on Farm Fridays. If the students volunteer in the gardens, they can leave with fresh produce to take home that day. Kevin Anderson, the gardens coordinator, is passionate about giving students the information about how to make healthy lifestyle changes. We know that choosing what to eat relates to resources, and were trying to provide good resources, said Anderson. Being a resource for the students at UNF has not come without its fair share of obstacles and growth. The gardens were started in 2009, and began with only six beds. Since then, the gardens have expanded to 15 raised beds with the help of sponsors and volunteers. Anderson hopes that

this growth will compete with abundance of food deserts in Jacksonville, which are areas that lack fresh produce. Theres a scarcity of resources. We need to increase the food supply in a way that is sustainable, Anderson continued. Every student at UNF has access to sustainable food resources. Students can adopt a bed at the garden if they do not have the space in their dorms or homes. Groups that decide to adopt a bed must dedicate a certain number of hours a week to tending to their crops. Garden participants gain a new perspective on what fresh food is, and how students can make a change for the better. Through the use of workshops, classes, and volunteering, the Ogier Gardens are changing the way students view their food at UNF. About Ogier Gardens Established in 2009, the UNF Organic Garden began as a student initiative and was made possible by a generous donation from Bruce Ogier. The gardens are located behind Lot 18 near the skate park on the north end of campus. The Frederick and Ophelia Tate Ogier Gardens will serve as a living laboratory for students to promote student health and wellness. For further information, please contact Carmen Franz at ###