UGA’s Medicinal Herb Garden to Host Holiday Market

Over the past year, the herbal medicine program at UGArden, the University of Georgia student-run farm, has expanded its product line and the number of students involved.

As student volunteers prepare locally grown and made teas, balms and soaps for its second annual holiday market, from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Garden, students celebrate the program’s growth.

“It’s cool because there are all these students in different programs that wouldn’t necessarily come to a farm,” said Noelle Fuller, the program manager. “They’re getting hands-on experience with different parts of this student-run business, and it’s accessible to a lot of people.”

This year’s growth is due, in large part, to a $20,000 grant from UGA’s Office of Experiential Learning in early 2018. The grant funded a part-time position for Fuller, a qualified herbalist who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UGA, and supported the expansion of the herbal program on campus.

Each week, volunteers and interns travel to UGArden’s property to process dried herbs, work in the field, harvest plants and provide maintenance.

As the herb garden grew, Fuller also worked to increase the program’s impact on campus, forming partnerships with students from CAES and many other colleges.

For example, students in a first-year Odyssey class called “Local Food Entrepreneurship” will occupy the holiday market. They’ve been studying the herb program’s business model all semester, Fuller said.

“We try to make it very holistic by giving students the opportunity to engage with the business in different ways and incorporating a bunch of different perspectives,” Fuller said. “Some students would never come to work on the farm, but now they can help with other aspects of the business.”

At the Holiday Market, students will be offering their 10 all-natural herbal teas, holiday bath and beauty boxes, salves, lip balms, infused oils, locally grown loofah and a new shiitake mushroom seasoning blend .

The UGarden is located at 2500 S. Milledge Ave. in Athens.

For more information about the UGarden Medicinal Herbs Program, visit ugarden.uga.edu/medicinal-teas.

Terri S. Tomasini