A Living Classroom

The MUSC Urban Farm provides a place where students, faculty, staff, and the Charleston community can come together to learn about the connection between land and food. The .5 acre farm, located on the corner of Bee & President Streets, hosts workshops, seminars, volunteer workdays, and tours for local schools. Participants are educated on the value of incorporating vegetables into their diets through cooking and nutrition lessons and will experience a unique opportunity to engage in hands-on learning about sustainable urban agriculture. The MUSC Urban Farm hosts educational programs throughout the growing season demonstrating accessible, preventative approaches that can improve diet and impact health.

The mission of the MUSC Urban Farm is to build a healthier community by growing crops and social connections while educating and inspiring people with local, nutritious, and delicious food.

Background

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is a public institution of higher learning dedicated to providing an excellent, collaborative education to our students, delivering highest quality, state-of-the-art patient-centered care, being a world leader in the creation of new knowledge and its application, and serving the health care needs of the citizens of South Carolina while expanding outreach to people throughout the world. South Carolina is currently facing public health concerns related to poor diet and health behaviors and professionals across the state are working toward solutions for a healthier population. In keeping with our mission to improve health and maximize the quality of life through education, research, and patient care, MUSC has chosen to develop a half-acre of the North Garden as an educational garden with the goal of creating opportunities for South Carolina residents to learn how to eat for health.

MUSC Urban Farm Health & Safety Plan

The MUSC Urban Farm is committed to providing safe and interactive gardening experiences for people to learn how to eat for health. We strive to provide a free outdoor space to exercise, learn, and access healthy whole fruits and vegetables while maintaining the health and safety of our community. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have established a new model for visitors, volunteers, and programming.

COVID-19 Visitor Update:

 The MUSC Urban Farm is open to visitors from sunrise to sunset every day of the week.

Visitor Requirements

  • We ask that visitors maintain social distance of 6 feet apart from each other (exceptions include parent and children groups).
  • We ask that visitors wear a mask at all times in the farm.  
  • Visitors are not able to come into the farm if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID.
  • Visitors are encouraged to wash hands at hand washing stations on site.
  • Visitors are not allowed to harvest produce, handle tools, or enter the greenhouse.

COVID-19 Volunteer Update:

Volunteers are considered: farm hands, apprentices, community member volunteers, MUSC student and staff volunteers, and volunteer groups (<10 people)

Volunteer Sessions

“Work and Learn” volunteer sessions are weekly volunteer opportunities for 1 to 3 hour slots, for all community members to participate in caring for the farm space and learning how to garden and eat for health. No prior experience is required.

Please note: Volunteer sessions are limited to 10 people per volunteer opportunity. Volunteers must reserve a volunteer spot through the Google Drive reservation system at least 24 hours prior to the volunteer event

Weekly Work and Learn Volunteer Sessions:

Mondays 9 am to 12 pm

Tuesdays 3 pm to 6 pm

Wednesday 9 am to 12 pm

Thursday 3 pm to 6 pm

Saturday 9 am to 12 pm

Volunteer Requirements

  • In order to maintain a safe and open community space we ask volunteers to abide by health and safety requirements in conjunction with MUSC Health.
  • Volunteers must sign up at least one day ahead on the Google Form website to reserve their spot.
  • Volunteers cannot participate if they have been experiencing COVID symptoms in the past week.
  • All volunteers or guardians of volunteers under 18 years of age must sign the MUSC Urban Farm liability form prior to volunteering.
  • Volunteers are asked to wash their hands at the hand washing station prior to volunteer work.
  • Volunteers must wear gardening gloves at all times during volunteer activities. We ask that volunteers bring their own gloves or use one-time use gloves provided by the Urban Farm staff.
  • Volunteers must wear closed toed shoes at all times.
  • Volunteers must wear a face mask at all times while volunteering. Volunteers will be provided a mask if they are not able to bring one.
  • We ask that visitors not harvest produce but instead allow farm educators to provide pre-harvested produce.
  • If not in a family group, volunteers will be separated to do volunteer activities at least 6 feet away from each other.

Events

Events are considered parties, gatherings, and group events not directly run by the Urban Farm or Office of Health Promotions.

  • All large events will be decided on a case by case basis.
  • Each event must be less than 10 people
  • Event must be reserved ahead of time on the MUSC Urban Farm website: musc.edu/ohp/urbanfarm
  • If a MUSC event, the group must have permission from the Provost or Dean of their college.

Patient and Group Programs

Programs include any patient groups, MUSC team groups, or community groups that would like a tour or educational program.

  • All patient and group programs will be decided on a case by case basis.
  • Groups must be less than 10 people.
  • Programs must be reserved ahead of time on the MUSC Urban Farm website.

Tables and Eating Area

Tables and chairs at the Urban Farm patios are open for visitors to relax and eat. We ask that visitors not move tables or chairs without permission from a Farm Educator.

Restrooms

No restrooms are available for volunteers and visitors to use. Hand washing stations are available at the Urban Farm.

Produce Distribution

Weekly Produce Stand and Coupon for Crop distribution for MUSC Healthcare Workers are held each Tuesdays 1 to 2:30 pm each week. This is on a first come, first serve basis. Produce and availability varies by season.

"Work & Learn" Sessions

Volunteer Work & Learn sessions are held multiple times a week on the Urban Farm (weather dependent) and are open to all community members. No farming  expertise is required, just a willingness to learn more about growing food and improving your health and wellness!

  • Weekly Work and Learn Volunteer Sessions:
    • Mondays 9 am to 12 pm
    • Tuesdays 3 pm to 6 pm
    • Wednesday 9 am to 12 pm
    • Thursday 3 pm to 6 pm
    • Saturday 9 am to 12 pm

Crops Being Grown

The organic Urban Farm operates year round, with produce planted and harvested year-round. Over 40 varieties of vegetables, fruit, and herbs grown in South Carolina can be found in the farm. Visit the crops page to download information on how to plant, grow, harvest, and eat each of these unique and nutritionally valuable crops.

Schedule a Visit

The MUSC Urban Farm is available for group tours, educational programs, events, and meetings. Please complete the event request form and the farm coordinator will follow up with scheduling information. Fees may apply for non-MUSC groups.

Bees

There is a demonstration Urban bee hive on the farm to educate visitors about the roles bees play in our food system and allow for a closer look at this thriving inter-dependent colony.

Events

Employees Crops

Visit the events calendar to explore educational events and other projects going on at the Urban Farm. Monthly Lunch & Learn events as well as fun community parties for all ages are offered from time to time.

 

Resources

Browse our library of informational guides and handouts for creating a healthy lifestyle including starting an urban growing space.