By Bailey Basham

Fresh, organic goods produced by the Trevecca Urban Farm can now be purchased at a weekly farm stand on campus.

Fruits, vegetables, jams, soaps and salves all grown and produced on campus are available every Thursday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. near the bell tower.

“All of the food, we grew on campus or in one of our campus gardens. We process it ourselves. The jams come from our fruit trees and the berries we grow. The salves come from our beeswax and our herb oils. [All the ingredients] are organic. It’s all ours or most ours that we grew right here on the farm. We pick it, put it together, roll it up the hill and sell it right there,” said Jason Adkins, environmental projects coordinator and director of the urban farm.

Urban Farm staff and volunteers had tossed around the idea of doing a farm stand, but Adkins said farm coordinator Karen Shaw was instrumental in the farm stand’s creation.

“So many people didn’t know about the farm or our products so we thought if we could be more visible more people would know about the farm and what we do,” said Shaw.  “We use our own goats milk for our soap and our herbs and beeswax for our salve. As for jams, it’s lots of fruit and organic sugar. I use a very old recipe book published by the farm journal.  I’m very careful to follow exactly since being precise is important when canning.”
Shaw has been working on the farm for the past two years. She said her favorite thing from the farm stand is the salve.

“I’ve used it for years and it makes a huge difference in the healing process for scratches and burns. I keep it with me all the time and recommend it often. This summer I discovered it makes mosquito bites stop itching and takes the swelling down in a short time. It’s good stuff,” said Shaw.

Adkins said all the money made from the urban farm stand goes straight back into the farm.

“We’re trying to support the farm staffing with that, so everything we make goes right back into the farm,” said Adkins. “We’ve had students spend a dollar, and we’ve had students spend $50.”

Tabitha Sookdeo, a senior social justice major and volunteer with the Urban Farm, said her interest in helping on the farm came from her her interest in Adkins’s environmental justice class and her own passion for food justice.
“Food security and sustainable community development is something I see myself doing in the future, and working at the farm is great experience,” said Sookdeo.

Sookdeo considers volunteering with the farm her own type of therapy.

“Besides giving my time, I wanted to partake in the restoration of our relation to the Earth, not only through reading about it, but by actually contributing in a meaningful way,” said Sookdeo. “I come from an agricultural background, so this type of work is therapeutic for me. I am able to be part of a spiritual community that truly cares about the Earth, as well as all of creation.”

Sookdeo said her favorite thing the farm stand sells is the tea.

In the case of rain, the market will move inside the Jernigan lobby.

 
 
By Jess Plyler

Healthcare professionals, lawyers, and outreach leaders came together at Trevecca on Saturday to host the Nashville Community Outreach and Resource Center’s annual health care and free flu shot fair.

Thirteen different organizations gathered in Boone Business Building to provide services to the underprivileged and uninsured of Nashville. The event is intended to serve as a one-stop-shop for these individuals, desiring to offer a holistic solution to the issues they’re facing.

The Nashville Community Outreach and Resource Center (NCORC) is an emergency social services provider. Through the network that they have developed over the years, they extend help to those who are in need in the greater Nashville area, whether that be housing, healthcare, or food. Each case is treated with individual care.



The NCORC executive director, Debbie Murphy, says that the work they do would not be possible without the partnership of Trevecca.

“Trevecca has been a godsend to the NCORC. I don’t know what we would have done. We just celebrated 12 years and I honestly don’t think we would have been able to do that without the center for social justice standing behind us and doing everything they do for us.”

One of the organizations that participated in the health fair was the Meharry Student Run Free Clinic. This organization is a link in the community that is regularly contacted by the NCORC. Currently located on 12 South, this clinic exists to provide primary care for those who might not be able to obtain it otherwise.

Gabriela Heslop, Meharry’s Community Outreach Director, said that when it comes to outreach healthcare, primary care is extremely important.

“The goal is to prevent dire situations. Preventative care is one of the most important steps.”

Overall, Iris Gordon, the director of the Center for Social Justice Center’s neighborhood empowerment program, said that she was pleased with the results of the health fair. She also encouraged Trevecca students to get involved with the NCORC while they’re still in school.

“The organization always needs champions. You can get immediate application of their academic learning. Like, immediate. So you don’t have to wait until you get a job. You can connect where your passion is with the skills you’re acquiring at the university.”

For more information on how you can get involved with this organization and other things happening in Trevecca’s immediate community, visit www.ncorc.org/support/volunteer.

 
 
By Jess Plyler

Jess Govern left her heart in Greece and this fall, she went to go find it. 

The Trevecca 2016 alumnus was one of the few students selected to aid in the Syrian refugee crisis this past summer. 

She returned at the end of July and began working like any other college graduate, but by October, she was back on a plane to Greece.

Last summer, her team, made up of 10 students, left three days after graduation. Although the trip had unexpected turns at nearly every corner, Govern fell in love with the place. More importantly, she fell in love with the people she met. 

Govern says that her team was originally assigned to serve in Serbia, but things didn’t go as planned. The team was told that they were being redirected to Greece when they arrived at the airport for departure. 

The team worked in several different camps throughout the summer, teaching English and helping with whatever needed to be done at the time. 

 “It was a lot of willingness. We would show up and say, ‘Hey, we speak English and have two hands. What can we do?’” Govern said.

The refugees that Govern encountered in her three months overseas had a life changing impact on her. Upon returning to the States near the end of July, Govern said she had a difficult time getting back into the swing of American life. 

“It’s really hard to do refugee relief work from America. I’m still grieving with them, just 5500 miles away,” Govern said. “I’m trying not to be super disheartened by America’s response to the crisis, but to be informational and speak light into those things.” 

She said she wishes that others around her better understood the gravity of what is happening. Govern described the current situation as the largest humanitarian crisis of our time. 

“Journalists are describing it as a death camp. They are using descriptions to make it seem like the Holocaust on purpose. We hear the numbers a lot and we are quick to generalize, but that’s dangerous because it dehumanizes and devalues people.” 

According to Mercy Corps senior team leader Javier Alvarez, the refugees bring a sense of hope to their newfound lands. 

“We see many middle-class Syrians, especially youth, who want to contribute. They want to finish their studies, pursue further education, or start working as they did back in Syria. We see a lot of professional dentists, teachers, and doctors — these refugees are trained and they can contribute.” 

Govern echoed Alvarez, urging her peers to see refugees as people before labeling them. 

“All they are asking for is their literal human right for safety, but they are being met with hostility and violence. Remember people as people. They are fathers and mothers and sons and daughters and they each have a story to tell you. I was lucky enough to sit in a lot of tents and hear a lot of stories.”