The Rhodes Community Garden has been an ongoing project since 2006. In 2010, Dr. Kimberly Kasper of the Anthropology/Sociology Department was put in charge of it. Since then, the garden has moved locations to the north of campus. With more students and faculty involved than ever, there are now ten garden beds (five open to the public use, the other five open to Garden team/OPCFM use) with fig trees and blueberry bushes outlining the boundaries.
Part of our focus is to create a garden that is truly a community-oriented, where professors, students and faculty can use the garden freely for their classes or for their personal joy of planting. Our main focus, however, is connecting this project with our knowledge of modern food inequality in the Memphis and the greater Mid-South. In order to meet this goal, we are currently developing a “Heritage garden” that grows plants specific to the colonial era in Memphis.These crops were seeds that African American slaves brought with them to the Americas in the struggle to save their culture and autonomy in a corrupt and dehumanizing system. These crops include sweet potatoes, okra, tomatoes and red beans. Our goal through this Heritage Garden is to connect food inequality of the past, particularly for African American slaves, with food inequality of the present. In doing this, we are also developing signage to place in the garden that further tell these stories.
For more information, please visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RhodesCollegeCommunityGarden or our Instagram account at https://www.instagram.com/rhodes_garden/.