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Growing community (and produce) in the Robb Garden Market

Nothing beats the taste of a fresh salad, the crisp smell of fresh herbs or the sight of vibrant freshly cut flowers. The Garden Market at Pacific offers all these things. Transitioning back to in-person activities, members of the Pacific community are working to rebuild interest in the beloved Robb Garden.  

The Garden Market has been around for a few years at Pacific, but garden coordinator Janice Setser is pushing for the community to grow again and its triumphant comeback.  The market gives fresh produce, herbs and flowers to students free of charge and donations are accepted from other buyers.

“We are feeding a village, but the village needs to come,” states Setser. “The garden creates a community and connects people to the earth and the food that sustains them.” 

The garden was established in September of 2012 with a select variety of produce with the market opening in 2015. Today the garden grows a plethora of different fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers all ever changing with the seasons. “The garden is a hub for the whole community and I try to model and teach that to all the student interns. My mission in the garden is to grow soil, food, and community.”  

The Garden Market also works with the food pantry located in the Wendell Phillips Center. Student gardeners pack any leftover produce from the day and create individual salads which are then dropped off to the food pantry.  

 “I’m glad students have access to fresh organic produce,” said student gardener Shazza Lyons.  

Lyons is a first year music therapy student and has been working in the garden for a few months. What she loves about the garden is that she gets to help people.  

“I open on most days so it’s very quiet and peaceful, it’s the best way to start my day because it is so meditative,” she said. “My meditation and experience is then turned into food for someone else.”  

A veteran to the garden and third year sociology major, Kate Bolin, has worked in the garden for about five months. “I really fell in love with it when I was able to see the fruits of my labor fully grown and then get to give it to others to enjoy,” she said. 

 “I recommend everyone to come to the community garden and market, especially after quarantine. It’s a great way to get out, get some fresh air, and meet new people,” she says. “The garden is for the Pacific community and we want everyone to enjoy it, plus it’s always great to try new foods and experiences.”  

The Garden Market is located in the Robb Garden on the south side of the Stockton campus. It runs from 9:30-11:30 a.m. every Tuesday and is open to Stockton residents and the Pacific community. 

 For more information subscribe to their newsletter for staff, faculty, and community members or students and follow @sustainingpacific16 on Instagram. The garden always enjoys new volunteers, if interested, fill out the Robb Garden Volunteer Interest Form 

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