PHOTOS: 2015 Immersion in Gainesville

Rollins students traveled to Gainesville, Florida, to learn about food cultivation and its impact on the community.

Rollins Immersion experiences take students beyond the campus to participate in projects based on prominent social justice issues. This month, a group of students worked alongside several community partners, including Florida Organic Growers, Gainesville Compost, and Kimball Wiles Elementary School, to understand the transformation of food from seed, to table, to trash. Here, students get comfortable outside of their accommodations at Zen Hostel.

Inside the hostel, the beds are set up in four-bunk style in a screened room.

Andrew Lesmes’15, Mollie Jones ’15, and Mary-Ellen Garner ’15 take a moment to enjoy coffee at Volta Coffee, Tea & Chocolate in downtown Gainesville.

The group selected a variety of options off of the menu at The Daily Green, a restaurant that participates in the Gainesville Compost program, which students learned more about during the trip.

Kayvon Bahramian, the farm and garden project coordinator at Florida Organic Growers, leads a group discussion about the benefits and challenges of sustainable food cultivation.

Garner and Lesmes have a wheelbarrow race to fill raised garden beds at Kimball Wiles Elementary School. The school uses the produce from the gardens for student lunches.

Stephanie Murphy ’16, Gabriela Polanco ’16, and Arielle Perez ’16 move flower pots to make room for the new raised beds at the elementary school.

Garner and Lesmes cut lumber from local trees at Porter’s Community Farm to build the frames for the raised garden beds.

The group gets their hands dirty weeding garden beds.

Dina Roumeliotis ’17 and Shanica Brown ’18 spread thick layers of mulch to keep the weeds down at Porter’s Community Farm.

Jones works in the garden beds outside of the elementary school.

Students install the newly built frames for additional raised garden beds.

Murphy, Caleigh Reitsma ’18, and Ariana Simpson ’15 move soil off a trailer into the team’s wheelbarrows.

The team gathers at Porter’s Community Farm with Bahramian. The farm is part of Florida Organic Growers and provides fresh organic produce for St. Francis House, a transitional home in Gainesville for the homeless. (Top) Dina Roumeliotis ’17 (Middle left to right) Raul Carril ’15, Arielle Perez ’16, Danielle Rioux ’15, Shanica Brown ’18, Stephanie Murphy ’16, Caleigh Reitsma ’18, Gabriela Polanco ’16, Ariana Simpson ’15, Mary-Ellen Garner ’15, and Mollie Jones ’15 (Bottom left to right) Samuel Keegan ’16 and Andrew Lesmes ’15.