Photo of members of the community working on tomato plants growing in raised metal beds at the Garden@Case

Campus Spotlight: Garden@Case

Photo of members of the community working on tomato plants growing in raised metal beds at the Garden@Case

Looking for an excuse to get outside this summer? Consider joining Garden@Case—Case Western Reserve’s garden club that supports the university’s on-campus urban garden. Whether you have a green thumb or you have no gardening experience whatsoever, Garden@Case provides an opportunity to make new friends and relax outdoors—all while growing needed vegetables for a nearby food bank. 

The garden took root in 2011 when CWRU Facilities Services laid out the original 2,500-square-foot garden on Juniper Road. It’s since moved to the corner of Mistletoe and Magnolia Drive near Mather Park, and includes raised beds, water access, a fountain, and a pollinating garden border.

“We practice organic gardening in pest control and fertilizing—the flowers and shrubs around the exterior wall have all been strategically chosen to increase pollination and minimize garden pests,” explained Brian Gray, the organizer of Garden@Case and special projects officer for Kelvin Smith Library.

Garden@Case is also a member of Summer Sprout, Cleveland’s community gardening program, which is a partnership between the City of Cleveland and Ohio State University Extension (Cuyahoga County). Through this membership, Garden@Case has access to other urban gardens in the area, training, and donated plants and seeds.

Plants in the garden vary from year to year based on donations; this year group members have already planted several varieties of tomatoes, peppers, collard greens, cabbage and eggplant. The produce harvested from the garden is donated to the Hunger Network to support the local community, with more than 90% of its output being donated. Last year, group members donated 10 pounds of fresh produce. 

In addition to produce, the garden boasts flowers, mint, raspberries, two apple trees, and various herbs that return each year. 

So far, more than 70 people from CWRU and the local community have joined the campus group to learn about opportunities and keep track of the garden’s progress. To find out more about the garden or to volunteer, join the CampusGroups page and visit the Garden@Case website.