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Recreation and Wellness

Frederick and Ophelia Tate Ogier Gardens

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Nourishing Bodies, Minds and Spirits

The Frederick and Ophelia Tate Ogier Gardens is the epicenter of innovative environmental and public health programming. Located on an acre, these organic gardens feature row crops, a wide variety of fruit trees, raised vegetable beds, and peaceful sitting areas for students to relax.

Hours of Operation

Fall Semester August 22 - December 16

Tuesdays 9 AM - 12 PM

Wednesdays and Fridays 9 AM - 12 PM and 1 PM - 5 PM

Closed Sept 5, Nov 11, and Nov 24-27

Garden Tours

Our garden tours start at 9 AM every Friday during the semester, depending on weather. Anyone can attend the free hour long tour! Come learn how and what we grow!

About The Ogier Gardens

Mission

The mission of the UNF Ogier Gardens is to create a healthier UNF community through nature contact while growing crops and social connections, demonstrating sustainability and biodiversity, as well as nourishing people with local, fresh, and delicious food.

The Ogier Gardens' programs educate about nutrition, as well as the linkages between environmental, mental, and public health. Through the "Healthy Osprey Initiative," Recreation and Wellness champions a healthy lifestyle and improves student retention. The Ogier Gardens embodies this initiative in multiple ways. The Gardens produce organic herbs, vegetables, fruits, sprouts, and mushrooms all year, also exposing the public to uncommon vegetables that are easy to grow and consume. Through a myriad of volunteer opportunities, workshops, and special events, students are introduced to how food is grown from seed to harvest, and they are encouraged to choose nutritious diets composed of organic, local, and seasonal foods.

Students can "Adopt-A-Bed," which gives them the opportunity to experiment growing their own food at no additional cost. Produce cultivated by student staff is given away to students and volunteers. Most of the produce grown in the Ogier Gardens is distributed through our on-campus food pantry, the Lend-A-Wing. This addresses student food insecurity by providing fresh produce. Produce is also used for cooking workshops and demonstrations to strengthen our student's healthy life skills.

History

The seed for what has become the Ogier Gardens began as a student initiative in 2009 with a small but diverse garden located on a little parcel of land on the west side of campus. The "Osprey Garden" was originally managed by Campus Recreation and exclusively emphasized organic methods with a focus on environmental impacts and sustainability. This tradition continues. Due to phenomenal interest from UNF students and staff as well as financial support from alumnus Bruce Ogier, the garden grew exponentially in 2012, when it was relocated to its present location and renamed "The Frederick and Ophelia Tate Ogier Gardens." Moving towards a demonstration site for agroecology, the Ogier Gardens collects water in rain barrels, composts, and educates on the importance of sustainability, biodiversity, local foods, and social justice in the food system.

Slow Food UNF Chapter

Join UNF's very own Slow Food Chapter! Slow food is all about the transformation in the production, consumption, and even how we enjoy the food that we eat. At the Ogier Gardens we are living by their core values of good, clean, and fair foods for all! UNF's Slow Food Chapter hosts a Potluck in the Ogier Gardens once a month, this date can be found on the UNF Calendar, the Ogier Garden Facebook or Ogier Garden Instagram, or on UNF Slow Food Instagram. By joining UNF's chapter of Slow Food you will be able to see how the community as a whole is starting to implement new practices. Members will be able to experience firsthand how farmers are changing their practices, the best way to purchase produce, and even start engaging in the community with volunteer opportunities. If you would like more information or to join the club, contact slowfoodunf@gmail.com or log into Perch Portal and look up Slow Food UNF in the search bar!

Gardens Programs

Volunteer

Are you interested in organic gardening? Want to learn about what it takes to cultivate and grow healthy, delicious fruits and veggies? Do you like to work outside and get your hands dirty? Or maybe you'd just like to hang out with a great bunch of creative, interesting people and have some fun while you improve your environment. No matter what the case, volunteering in the UNF Ogier Gardens might be for you. Help build, cultivate and maintain our beautiful garden. We are always looking for those interested in learning about gardening while lending a hand to help us grow. 

No appointment required! Stop by during our open hours and sign-in when you arrive to log your volunteer hours. Closed-toed shoes are highly recommended. We have sunscreen, a water station, gloves you can borrow and staff that can assign you to a task whenever you arrive. 

Benefits of Volunteering

  •  All volunteers receive free organic vegetables, herbs, fruits or flowers
  • You can put volunteer hours on your resume
  • You'll learn about organic gardening 
  • You can make new friends

For more information email us at ogiergardens@unf.edu or call (904) 620-1570

Adopt a Bed

Campus clubs, organizations and students can "Adopt a Bed" and grow their own vegetables for free! Ogier Gardens staff provide the seeds, seedlings, fertilizer, and even water it for you. You get to eat the produce! We prefer to have a group of 3 or 4 students assigned to each bed. We can also pair people up once we determine who’s interested.

Benefits include:

  • Receiving hands-on experience in gardening
  • Harvesting produce you have helped grow
  • Receiving assistance and advice from the garden staff members
  • Getting exercise, fresh air, and sunshine
  • Knowing exactly where your food comes from and how it was grown
  • Being part of a dynamic community of gardeners

Responsibilities include:

  • Planting, weeding, and watering your assigned plot
  • Devoting two hours weekly (individually or as a group) to general garden improvements
  • Weighing and recording the types of produce harvested
  • Self-organizing within the club to divide duties
  • Using only Organic practices and inputs (ie. fertilizer, etc.) approved by the gardens' staff

Recipes

At the Ogier Gardens you can volunteer and help take care of the many varieties of fruit trees, herbs, vegetables, and other plant life. Then, you can tour the garden and find many varieties of produce to harvest and take home. We have compiled a list of inexpensive and all skill level friendly recipes featuring the produce found at the garden. Enjoy!

Ogier Gardens Recipes

Fall 2022 Workshops

Learn more about the Ogier Gardens and how to maintain your own gardens through our workshops. Workshops are free for UNF students, staff and the general public.

 

Intro to Organic Gardening

Home gardening can improve your health, save you money, and increase your food security. Learn the basics to starting your own garden with the Ogier Gardens Coordinator, Kevin Anderson.

All classes are 10 AM-11 AM

  • September 7, September 21 and October 21

Compost 101

A rind is a terrible thing to waste! Come learn how to set up and maintain your own composting system to recycle your kitchen scraps and yard waste. Fight climate change and learn how to make black gold with the Ogier Gardens very own Compost Steward, Anastasia Utley.

  • August 26 at 9 AM
  • September 23 and October 14 at 10 AM

Herbal Tea Tour

Come to our tea party and learn about how to dry and make your own fresh herbal teas from health educator and Ogier Gardens’ staff member Mia Moldovanyi.

  • September 2 at 10 AM
  • September 23, October 28 and November 18 at 11 AM

Attractive Native Plants

Come learn about attracting native species of birds and pollinators using native plants with Ogier Gardens staff member, April Thomas.

All classes are 10 AM-11 AM

  • September 13 and October 18

Good Bug or Bad Bug?

Don't squish it and then wish you hadn't missed the workshop!  Come learn about beneficial insects and pests in the garden.
All classes are 10 AM-11 AM
  • November 9

Honey Bees and Beekeeping

Bees are critical for our food supply, yet more than 25% of the managed honey bee population has disappeared since 1990. Learn beekeeping from local expert, Greg Harris.
  • November 12 at 3 PM