UGArden Holiday Market:

A New Season to Celebrate

As the weather cools and leaves turn gold, we all too often assume that nature has begun to decline. Throughout our lives, we have associated the beginning of winter with the end of life. This way of thinking is not only dampening but it is also inaccurate. When the leaves from the trees drop, it is not the end of a season full of life but the beginning of a new life cycle. Or better yet, it is the continuation of a beautiful cycle exemplified throughout nature everywhere we set our eyes. The fallen leaves act to support new life that is come and as we wait for that to appear, we must remember that the end of the summer season is not an end at all, but a beginning.

Herbs at the UGArden have been tended through their entire life cycle. From seed to tea, they have given us the means to make beautiful things. We have planted the delicate seeds and encouraged them to grow through daily care. We have taken the seedlings and tucked them into their carefully prepared soil beds where they have grown into full and luscious herbs. We have harvested their leaves and flowers to push them to grow more. The hundreds of pounds of herbs we have dried all started from the same humble beginning but their journey does not end there. We transform the gifts nature has given to us by the careful and loving creation of herbal products, that we extend to those who surround us in our community.

As a celebration of this new season of life, the UGArden hosts an annual Holiday Market. Every ounce of nurturing and strength we have goes into this sale where people from all over can come to buy and try our herbal products. It is here that we sell every one of our tea blends, spice mixes, lip balms, salves and soaps. Each of these products has been created to showcase the beauty and vibrancy of our freshly grown herbs. We use this intentionality at UGArden so that the same beauty, kindness, intention and care we have given our crops can be given to someone else. We have spent a year tending, thinking and building community to create products that anyone and everyone can enjoy and we hope that anyone who purchases or receives these hand-crafted products experience a new appreciation of the herbs they use.

The UGArden Holiday Market steeps with sustainability that not only contributes to the farm as a whole but also to our Athens community. The Holiday Market builds community. It gives people from all over Athens and surrounding areas the opportunity to support a student-run, organic farm by purchasing powerful products for themselves and those in their own community. The Holiday Market also serves as the main economic source for the UGArden. The herb program provides an income that would otherwise be non-existent which benefits all other areas of the farm. Furthermore, UGArden is centered around the use of organic practices. Such as rotating our fields with cover crops to allow our soil to replenish itself, and embracing cradle-to-cradle mindset by turning all of our unused plant parts into compost that feeds future crops. Sustainability is at the root of our cause, which we hope to share with those who visit us throughout the year and those who come to the Holiday Market.

The UGArden sets the example of how these blooming herbs, along with all plant life, should not be mourned through the cool months but celebrated. Even though our annual herb crops have finished their mighty work in the ground, their work does not stop there. They simply begin a new journey: one that brings healing.