Meet your new garden manager

Sadia Pollard is the new manager of the Sustainable Carolina Garden. We asked Sadia about their background, why they chose to work here, the function of the garden, how students can get involved and much more.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Sadia Pollard, and I am the new Sustainable Carolina Garden manager. Before moving to Columbia, I was working on a nonprofit farm in Western North Carolina. Growing food has been a passion of mine for some time now. I am a graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. While there I was a research assistant in mycology, entomology and horticultural laboratories.

How did you come about working for the Sustainable Carolina Garden?

I choose to work for the Sustainable Carolina Garden because I remember how the campus garden at my alma mater made me feel. I would find a seat in the garden and read or relax in-between classes. To me it can be essential for all of us to have a place to connect to the natural world when surrounded by concrete and skyscrapers.

What does the garden mean to you?

The garden serves as a place on campus to practice sustainable methods to maintain a mutualistic relationship with the natural world, with hopes to eventually blur the line between human and land. Students have multiple avenues of interacting with the garden. There are volunteer sessions every day of the week. We are still asking students to sign up for a session. There are opportunities to reserve a square bed for growing your own food. If research interests you, there are also ways to conduct experiments in the garden.

What can be found in the garden?

Vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs can all be found growing in the garden. There is even a hydroponic system in the greenhouse that grows mostly lettuce using no soil. All produce is available to be bought at the Healthy Carolina Farmers Market. The McCutchen House is also a customer of the garden. Lastly, produce is donated to the Gamecock pantry and a local church. Classes can reserve the outdoor classroom, and the garden is always available for a scheduled tour. I also encourage the campus community to simply visit the garden, sit and observe all that is going on.

What can students expect from the garden this semester?

This semester we hope to expand into mushroom production and house-plant propagation. There will also be emphasis on growing nontraditional or international crops such as bitter melon. I hope that there is something in the garden that everyone will find interesting. And if there isn’t, we are always open to suggestions. The garden is for every student at USC.

You can get in touch with Sadia Pollard at the Office of Sustainability by phone at 803-576-8371 or by email at

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