Did You Know?: Purdue Village Gardens
Kim Hardaway, Purdue Village residential life manager, stands by the Purdue Village Gardens. The 30-by-30-foot garden plots are available for rental to anyone in the community -- with or without connections to Purdue. (Purdue University photo/Andrew Hancock)
A peaceful, southwest corner of Purdue's West Lafayette campus contains about 200 garden plots available for anyone to rent.
Located off Airport Road between the University's intramural fields and airport, the Purdue Village Gardens are popular among the about 2,500 residents in the village, says Kim Hardaway, Purdue Village residential life manager. The 30-by-30-foot garden plots are available for rental to anyone in the community -- with or without connections to Purdue.
Individuals can rent up to three plots at any time from the beginning of April until the end of October. Plots cost $40 each. The money raised from rental fees goes directly into the upkeep of the plots and to pay for the gardens' irrigation system.
There now are between 40 and 50 unrented plots, Hardaway says. Unused plots are mowed throughout the growing season and are tilled when gardeners rent them.
The gardens serve a variety of purposes, including promoting sustainability and encouraging community members to eat homegrown foods, Hardaway says.
"The gardens are a great way for Purdue to give back to the community," she says. "They allow local people who may not have a yard to be still able to enjoy the benefits of caring for and harvesting from a personal garden. It can help residents save money -- not to mention the fact that gardens are great for the environment."
Typically, gardeners cultivate plants such as tomatoes, beans, potatoes, barley, eggplants, squash and herbs. Fruits and vegetables native to international gardeners' parts of the world often are popular, too. Gardeners are restricted from using their plots for commercial purposes.
The gardens have been in their current location for two years, Hardaway says. Before that, they were east of Airport Road, just south of the village in a spot now occupied by the U.S. 231 bypass project.
To rent a plot, visit the Purdue Village Community Center's front desk, which accepts cash, checks or credit cards. The community center is open 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week.