By: Emily Lehner
Kaley Necessary is the Farm Manager and IWU Sustainability Coordinator for the Indiana Wesleyan Alliance Gardens. She graduated from IWU in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology Pre-Med. She received her current position at the gardens this past spring and is passionate about cultivating the two garden locations to reach their best potential.
Upon graduation, Necessary moved to Waco, Texas to work as School Garden Coordinator at a nonprofit training farm called World Hunger Relief, Inc. “My time at the farm taught me how to develop a network with local non-profits, discover sustainable agricultural techniques, manage a conservative livestock program and taught me about the complexity of non-profit management,” she stated.
The main goal of the garden is to provide education and produce to the community of Marion. It does so by partnering with local nonprofits like Kids’ Hope and The Crossing. Volunteers from these locations help the garden workers in the garden throughout the week, and the Alliance Garden provides them with recipes, fresh produce, and gardening tips.
The Alliance Garden also hosts workshops for members of the community to attend. At the workshops, the community members learn about gardening and sustainable living. The five interns and garden workers visit other local gardens and learn new techniques and information. Necessary said, “We try our best to relate our employees’ majors to what they are doing in the garden. For example, we have a photography major working for us, so we have her do all the social media and photography aspects of the garden.
“I was responsible for continuing to develop their training program which covered topics related to sustainable agriculture and community development,” said Necessary. With fall and winter quickly approaching, she works hard to prepare the garden for cold weather. Although the garden remains free of produce during winter months, preparation is still needed. Lately, Necessary has been preparing the final produce and the gardens for the upcoming Harvest Party happening on October 1st. Everyone is welcome.
The IWU Alliance Gardens began about five years ago and also has a house on campus called the Alliance House. The house strives to be as productive as possible with waste. “We recycle when we can and compost the majority of our food scraps. We meet once a week and discuss different topics related to sustainability including: water usage and quality, buying local goods and produce, reducing our carbon footprint, purchasing second hand items and we discuss what it means to be a good steward,” stated Necessary.
Necessary believes that being a Christian calls us to take responsibility as caretakers of Creation. She said, “When we neglect to recognize the affect our actions have on the environment and on our neighbors, we fail to honor one of the original relationships God created in the Garden- our relationship with the land.”
Kaley Necessary continues to closely follow her everyday actions to ensure that she is making cautious decisions to benefit the world around her. Those who come in contact with the garden leave with much knowledge on how to better the earth.
Show your support for the Alliance Gardens by “liking” their page on Facebook!: www.facebook.com/iwusustainabilityalliance
Written by Emily Lehner, a writer for the Alumni Center and a sophomore Writing major at IWU. She is active on the cross country and track teams. She is passionate about using her writing skills to share the good news of Christ with others and writes often on her personal blog at www.emilylehner.wordpress.com.