The Mercy Garden is a community garden that emphasizes growing a community as well as growing food for the community.
The idea is to create a garden that not only produces food for needy families in the community while practicing and teaching sustainable, organic land management, but also helps build leadership, cooperation and other community building skills among those working within it.
There are numerous ways in which the Garden benefits GCU and its community. Most obvious are the opprtunities for students to learn about the science of organic farming. However, working with the families receiving the food, or learning to create their own gardens will create service learning opportunities for students in areas such as social work and psychology, as well as a life changing experience for the families receiving the food that is produced there.
To help with the fundraising necessary to support the Mercy garden, some of the produce grown will be used to make “Mercy Me” salsa (tag line “a little spice of heaven!”). The salsa also provides another example of the opportunities that the Garden creates bringing the GCU community together; business students working together to market the product, art students have helped design the label to go on the jar, while science students are tending to the garden monitoring soil health, identifying insect pests and other ailments affecting the plants and learning about the methods used in organic land management.
The Mercy Garden is located bethind St. Catharine’s Residence Hall.