USD Grow is a new student group that started on campus last spring that’s focused on teaching people about plants and agriculture. One of the main goals of this organization is educating more people about gardening and its benefits.
During a blizzard that canceled classes last winter, a group of students were sitting in Old Main. That was where the idea for the club sprouted.
Hannah Trierweiler, a medical biology major, is the president of the USD Grow and has the most experience with plants. Her love for gardening stemmed from her childhood growing up on a farm where they have two gardens and an orchard.
“I really do like gardening, (there’s) something about getting your hands in the soil,” Trierweiler said. “Just seeing the product of your hard work at the end of the year…it’s just a sense of accomplishment.”
USD Grow’s treasurer Ashleigh Chov, a junior and chemistry major, said when she was younger she found plants interesting. Chov recalled her mother tending to flowers around their house, and how she enjoyed the process from bulb to flower.
“I like that it’s this sense of accomplishment,” Chov said, “Like you’ve nurtured this thing from the start and this is what you get at the end.”
The group also took the class honors 211, or nicknamed as the “food class,” that delved into the disconnected relationship between society and food.
Junior Amanda Grabholt, the public relations officer and nursing major, said that this class is what started her interested in helping start the club. She also said that the topic of the class is something that she’s wanted to learn more about.
“I’ve always been interested in food sustainability…and just the lack of knowledge, and just where our nutrition is going,” Grabholt said.
USD Grow’s budget recently got approved at a Student Government Association and they plan on purchasing materials to start gardening.
On their list of things to buy are things such as pots, plants and seeds for their events. To be able to keep their plants growing year round, the group will utilize the greenhouse on campus.
USD Grow plans on getting involved with more than just the USD community by volunteering at the Heikes Family Farm and community garden, educating young children at schools, tabling, and getting a compost pile started.
“I would like to see it where we maybe start a garden on campus,” Trierweiler said.
Grabholt said reaching out to the elementary schools is a “really good way” for younger students to learn about food.
“I really like the idea of reaching out to the schools and educating the kids. I think that sounds like a lot of fun,” she said.
USD Grow also plans on going to the children’s center as a way to continue to educate younger kids. Their plans include more hands-on activities to entertain and teach at the same time.
The Sustainability Club is another student organization that USD Grow plans on working with to start a compost pile, along with dining.
The organization currently has around 15 active members and had 40 sign up at the student organization fair. They hope to interest students with their events they have planned for the semester.
USD Grow plans on potting plants similar to succulents for students to put in their dorm rooms and making terrariums.
If students aren’t sure that USD Grow wouldn’t be a club for them, Trierweiler said to put yourself out there.
“You never know if you don’t try,” she said.
USD Grow has it’s first meeting Thursday, which will be every other week, in Party Labs 310 at 6:30 p.m.