Campus community garden builds on success

MU’s Henry Kirkland Community Garden

In the summer of 2021, MU’s Henry Kirkland Community Garden has doubled it gardening space. Some of the active raised beds are pictured here.

Mizzou Botanic Garden’s George Washington Carver community garden project hasn’t yet been able to add the Annie Fisher Community Garden site as planned. But garden manager Daniel Yuhasz said the Henry Kirklin Community Garden has doubled its gardening space and more than doubled the number of people taking advantage of the garden space.


Located at the site of the former University Village on campus, Yuhasz said the Kirklin garden has fully expanded into the available space with mounded beds.


“We’ve had such a demand for bed space that I’ve been pushed out of the garden beds and am doing my gardening in corners,” he said. “It’s really exciting to see what this turns into.


“Gardeners are a fifty-fifty student-faculty mix. We have retired faculty, post docs, staff and families of staff. It’s a great dynamic and they all love gardening.”


Yuhasz noted that communal flowerbeds and an herb garden are shared by gardeners.


“If you harvest, you need to put some time into it,” he said. “Some of the gardeners are referring to it as an insectary.”


The idea of an insectary is that certain plants invite beneficial insects like ladybugs and praying mantids that prey on insects that cause damage. Other plants repel harmful insects. And still others attract pollinators.


“We are responding to our gardener’s ideas,” Yuhasz said. “We’re unique in that sense.


“We have official signs that will be up soon and hope we are able to stage a ribbon-cutting dedication a little later in the season. It’s hard to believe I am finishing my third year with the project. Next year I hope we talk about expanding.”


The George Washington Community Garden Project is an initiative of the Mizzou Botanic Garden and both Pete Millier, garden director, and Karlan Seville, MUBG communications director, are pleased with its progress.


“The community gardens extend MUBG’s reach beyond our horticulture and environmental foci into food systems gardening, a focus of the project’s namesake, George Washington Carver. This is something we have long dreamed of doing,” said Seville. “And we are so pleased with Daniel’s efforts on behalf of the project and with its continued growth.”

Henry Kirkland Community Garden

At left, MU graduate student Bishnu Ditahl tends his beans in one of the gardens mounded beds. Shown at right is the Henry Kirkland Community Garden’s communal flower and herb bed.



Story by Jan Wiese-Fales