Meet Claire Adams: 2013 Botanic Garden and Community Garden Intern

26 Jul

Hi, my name is Claire and I am this year’s CEEDS Community Garden/Botanic Garden intern. I am a rising sophomore and an American studies major with a landscape studies minor. I am from New York City and have absolutely no experience with either gardening or landscaping, so suffice it to say that there has been a pretty steep learning curve for me this summer. But I love the feeling of being able to identify more and more plants every day. As the summer manager of the Community Garden, I am working to make the garden more sustainable both as a student organization and as an ecological landscape. My work has been focusing largely on the possibilities for permaculture in half of our garden and on planning for the years to come.


As I said I have no experience with gardening– I was initially drawn to the Community Garden because I wanted to gain a better understanding of where my food comes from and have the experience of eating things that grew from seeds I had put in the ground. But I realized that I had been thinking more about the garden half of our name and less about the community half. I realized that without the community there is no garden. How can we make the garden more engaging? How can we strengthen our connections with our community so that we can strengthen our garden? I think that part of the answer is outreach but I think that another part of the answer is permaculture.

A sampling of the delicious fruits ripening in the garden this past week.

Permaculture is about more than just perennial plants arranged to look more like a forest than a garden, it is an approach to garden design that is based on the health of the earth but also on the health of the social context in which the garden exists. I am excited to get current org members excited about a new garden plan and get new students who may never have been exposed to gardening or food production to get outside and get their hands dirty. If you can’t imagine the excitement of a city kid pulling their first carrot out of the ground I can tell you from personal experience that it involved yelling and exclamations with every bite at how delicious the still dirty carrot was. My roommate can also tell you that I was still talking about that carrot several hours after the fact and now here I am still talking about it several days later.

Stay tuned for more posts in the very near future as I attempt to make up for lost time and share more of my thoughts and inspiration for the garden.

-Claire Adams, ’16

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