• Katrina Agger and Emerald Casto

A little taste of the Ogier Gardens

Spring time is here Ospreys! The weather is beginning to get warmer and the flowers are blooming. One spot on campus that is particularly excited about the spring season is the Ogier Gardens! UNF's very own functional garden is gearing up for the spring season with some exciting new initiatives and workshops as well as unique events to help promote National Nutrition Month here on campus. Come explore what Ogier Gardens is all about and the upcoming events happening in March!

Ogier Gardens: A Brief History

The Frederick and Ophelia Tate Gardens began as a student initiative in 2009 with the help of a generous donation from Bruce Ogier, who dedicated the garden to his parents, Frederick and Ophelia. As student interest steadily increased through gardening workshops and market days, the garden eventually doubled in size in 2011 and moved to the north side of campus just on the far side behind Lot 18. The garden has a Permaculture focus, bio-diverse food options, and promotes healthy lifestyle choices for the entire UNF community.

In 2013, Kevin Anderson took over the gardens and set up a partnership between the Osprey Cafe, where UNF Dining Services began purchasing produce from the gardens. In 2015, Lend-A-Green began growing food on an 800 sq. foot lot as a donation based initiative between Ogier Gardens and UNF’s Lend-A-Wing Pantry. The connection between the Pantry and Ogier Gardens helps to provide students in need with fresh fruits and vegetables. Later in 2015, the Ogier Gardens was able to open their very own Greenhouse where they are able to directly seed plants and grow them in a moist environment.

In May of 2016, thanks to a generous donation from the Cummer Family Foundation, Ogier Gardens was able to start their own compost initiative. They currently partner with the Osprey Cafe, Outtakes, the Food Labs located in the Brooks College of Health, and Starbucks. As of Fall of 2018, combined efforts from these dining locations helped to recover 20 tons of food waste to be used as compost at Ogier gardens!

Join us at the Pick Your Own Salad event at Ogier Gardens!

With the arrival of the warmer weather and the Spring season beginning, the Frederick and Ophelia Tate’s Ogier Gardens is providing students with a way to enjoy some outdoor fun with the Pick Your Own Salad event. At the event, students will be led on a guided tour and will learn all about their organic farming practices and how sustainable food is grown. During the tour, students can harvest their own greens to make a scrumptious salad that features a variety of winter and spring produce. Some of the options available include: green and purple kale, Swiss chard, basil, fennel, peas, arugula, rosemary and even edible flowers!

Dressings and tasty toppings will be provided by UNF Dining Services. Students can put together a salad that is not only fresh and healthy, but also colorful, balanced, and delicious!

The benefits of this event go beyond a yummy lunch; the act of gardening and being outdoors is an excellent way to relieve stress. Did you know that exposure to sunlight has been linked to an improvement in mood? This is because the sun can help provide us with vitamin D which, according to a study by Jorde et al, may help improve symptoms of depression. [1] Gardening can be a great way for students to create an outdoor space for rest and relaxation; the uplifting effects are even better when you can harvest the fruits (and veggies) of your labor!

The Pick Your Own Salad event is happening this Friday, March 8th from 11am to 12:30pm at the Ogier Gardens located behind Parking Lot 18. No sign-up is necessary; all you need to bring is your appetite!

National Nutrition Month at Ogier Gardens

Ogier Gardens is hosting several other events in honor of National Nutrition Month! Here are a few to keep in mind:

  • Honey Bees and Beekeeping workshop on March 6th from 3 to 4pm with your local Beekeeper, Meghan Orman.

  • ‘A Bug’s Life’ Movie Night on March 7th from 6:30 to 9pm featuring some unique edible bugs as a snack!

  • Yoga in the Garden 9am to 10am with Mallory on March 27th.

  • Potluck Party March 29th 6 to 9pm.

  • Permaculture: Design and Installation three part workshop on March 1, March 8th, and March 15th from 1 to 3pm.


1. Jorde R, Sneve M, Figenschau Y, Svartberg J, Waterloo K. Effects of vitamin D supplementation on symptoms of depression in overweight and obese subjects: Randomized double blind trial. Journal of Internal Medicine. 2008;264(6):599-609. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2796.2008.02008.x. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2008.02008.x. Accessed Feb 24, 2019.

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