The Edible Garden Hosts a Gardening Workshop

Yasmin Marcelo, Staff Writer

On Thursday, November 18th, the Edible Garden hosted a gardening workshop for small spaces.  

According to ASI’s Director, Najeeb Darwish, “Gardening in small spaces is part of ‘Pot It Like It’s Hot,’ which is an ongoing series he CSUB Edible Garden is doing to teach students how to start and maintain a healthy garden.”  

Edible Garden Education Coordinator Heide Gutierrez further adds, “We wanted to give students the tools and knowledge they need to grow their own food.” 

The workshop offered two time slots, one at 10-11 A.M. and another at 2-3 p.m. 

Darwish, who regularly volunteers, believes “the garden is one of the campus’s best sustainability efforts because it’s both a learning experience [that teaches] information you can take home that can help you start your own garden.” He also believes gardening is a “therapeutic stress-relieving activity.”  

At the very start of the workshop, the attendees were provided with instructions entitled “Building a Living Wall from Shipping Pallets.” They were then divided into two groups, and each group was provided with a pallet they would work on. 

As written in the instructions, the attendees had to “staple landscape fabric to form pockets within the pallet. This will help the soil and plants stay in place.” 

The students were then taught how to add standing support to their pallets. They first had to dig two holes in the ground, use screws to “drill garden stakes,” chop off the extra wood from the stakes, and place the stakes into the holes.  

Finally, the participants were shown how to properly add the potting soil and the plants into the pallets. 

After the workshop, the attendees were given seeds to take home so they may be able to start gardening on their free time.  

Despite having “no formal training or experience” in gardening, Gutierrez was inspired to teach because she “felt that it was the perfect opportunity to learn hands on about environmentalism and agriculture.” She also likes creating workshops “that beginners and casual garden enthusiasts can benefit from.” 

Sophomore Wefaq Alshami not only attended to support her friend, Darwish, but because she enjoys “being at the garden and learning new things” as well. She also thought that the experience was “amazing” and “informative” 

Student Andrew Lopez was already “interested in the subject of the event” and wanted to learn how to garden to “spruce up” his dorms.  

Darwish states his favorite part of the event was “seeing how everyone reacted to their finished product, witnessing them realize how easily they can complete the project, and them being proud.” On the other hand, Gutierrez appreciates how “interactive” the workshop was and liked “giving participants the opportunity to use power tools and construct something tangible.” 

Because the tools were limited, there were times where one group had to wait and observe while the other engaged in the activity. Lopez comments, “In future events, I would prefer if groups could work entirely independently of one another without the need to wait for others.”  

Lopez also felt that “the atmosphere was welcoming.” Furthermore, he thought “working together…to create something was fulfilling and enjoyable, especially with how understanding and kind the hosts were.”  

Alshami says she enjoyed “stapling the fabric on the wood” and would definitely attend similar events the Edible Garden will offer. 

Darwish advises people to “keep a lookout” for the rest of the series the Edible Garden will be holding in the future.