Coming Together for Gardening
Ambitious, Community, People-orientated, Technology, Experimental. These are some words that the members of HKUST’s newest project – Community Garden – use to describe the project. With hopes to come together to create a collaborative space, the HKUST Community Garden will serve the purpose of being both a peaceful sanctuary and a lively gathering place. With the spirit and enthusiasm for organic farming and gardening being the unifying strength, this community garden hopes to bring together all members of HKUST to growth together with community and engagement as well as guide the Members to provide care for the environment and work in tandem.
Located in the LG7 area of the campus, the HKUST Community Garden currently has around 15 committee members with two different teams focusing mainly on outreach and operations. In an interview with two of the core members – Isabel Galwey, a postgraduate student and Carmen Sun, a member of the HKUST Sustainability/Net-Zero Office, gave us a glimpse into their visions, goals and initiatives. With the strong belief that the garden conforms with the university’s sustainability goals, they envisage that while showcasing the beauty of nature, this will be a place where people can come together, rest and grow. This promising land is the largest piece of farmland in the university and it is their hope for it to be a place for demonstration of all the collaborative effort.
While at an early stage, this Community Garden is now collaborating with Rooftop Republic, a social enterprise which is working towards building and managing urban farms. Together with this enterprise, the team is now coming forward with workshops that will enable the community garden committee members to learn about organic farming and best way to design the garden for community to enjoy. In the words of Isabel, “It makes it more tangible if you have space to go out and learn about nature.” and allows the members to learn specific life skills.
Taking one step at a time, the members are hoping to incorporate new technology into this farm and collaborate with exciting projects and use their expertise, for e.g., using hydrochar to test the growth of the plants, integrating hydroponics technology on this farm, and many more. While sustainability can seem abstract, the HKUST Community Garden is a more experiential activity with the vision to make people feel more of a concrete connection to the idea of nature and sustainability.
If you are interested to join this Community Garden, please send a note to Carmen Sun at email@example.com.