A Rocha Wheaton

A Rocha strives to create awareness of and opportunities for environmental stewardship and to encourage the active participation of its members in conservation efforts locally and globally. We emphasize the proclamation of Christian truth in conservation through cooperative, community-based efforts in local cultures.

A Rocha Community Garden

The Wheaton A Rocha Community Garden provides opportunities for building community and growing an understanding of the link between God’s provision and food production as well as offering fresh, local produce to Wheaton College and the surrounding community. The Wheaton A Rocha Community Garden was established during the 2010-2011 school year based on student initiative. During the first few years, A Rocha and the Wheaton grounds crew worked on the initial stages of the garden which consisted of installing terraces, spreading manure to improve the soil and planting cover crops.

The first year proved to be challenging, but A Rocha students continued to care for the garden and worked to improve the soil quality. In the Spring of 2013, seeds were planted and two Summer Caretakers were hired. Over the summer of 2013, Elsemarie DeVries and Thomas Leng led others in weeding, planting, and harvesting the garden, and Fall 2013 was the first harvest. The harvest included zucchini, summer squash, gourds, corn, green beans, acorn squash, beets and several herbs. Distribution of the produce was three-fold:

  • A Rocha donated food to Bon Appetit and those that worked in the garden
  • They sold food to the Wheaton College Community
  • Crops were donated to a local food pantry and church

The central location of the community garden on Wheaton’s campus has allowed for many students to get involved. There has been lots of enthusiasm, and many students not a part of the community garden committee or A Rocha have been involved in work days and purchasing produce from the garden. Head gardener Elsemarie said that she is excited to see the Wheaton community work together in an organic sense, which grows when people are engaged in a communal task. She is also excited to see students learning about the process of growing and eating local food. The community garden has helped the Wheaton Community connect to each other and the land. As the community garden was started in community, its goal is to continue to enrich community.

Questions about A Rocha or the Community Garden: wheatonarocha@gmail.com