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Get up and grow

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The last season finale has run its course, the summer solstice is a month away and the University of Calgary Community Garden wants to give students and community members a reason to get outside and enjoy Calgary's limited months of sunshine.

The U of C Community Garden occupies approximately 7,500 square feet of land west of Lot 10 and began as a 2001 U of C President's Challenge project. The garden is now in its fourth growing season as a venue to unite students, staff and community members to dig in the dirt.

"It's open to everyone in the community," explained James Waugh, a first year physics student and Community Garden liason . "It's so casual. We have two or three times per week which are group garden times and people can come and go whenever they want."

Waugh explained a background in horticulture is not necessary to become involved with the garden. The focus is on learning from one another.

The Community Garden uses organic farming, which means no pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers, and volunteers harvest produce for themselves as it comes into season. Any produce not used by volunteers is donated to local charities like the Campus Food Bank and Saint Mary's Feed the Hungry.

"Its really relaxing and it gives you the opportunity to get away from the books and get your hands dirty," said Waugh. "It's a really good community. We all work together."

Waugh said most of the planting is done for the season, but future plans for the garden include a greenhouse and expansion of the compost facilities to encompass waste materials from across campus.

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