First Friday Afternoon Working Party

24 Jul

[This is the first in a series of posts by Junzhou Liu, ’17 about her experience as garden manager for the student-run Smith Community Garden and intern for the Botanic Garden this summer. Junzhou is a rising sophomore and a potential biochemistry major and economics minor originally from Beijing, China. This academic year Junzhou is moving from Park House, where she spent her first year, to Hopkins House, where she hopes to continue to meet new people and enjoy making and eating food from different cultures with others.]


Today was the first Friday afternoon work party. I was so nervous even after I prepared as best I knew how -with some help I sent an announcement about the work party on edigest, I asked a contact in the School of Social Work to announce it to students during their orientation, and an email reminder went out to students on the [ENVIRO] and SURF lists. I bought snacks and supplies, and  this morning I went to the garden and got the tools out of the storage room. I even found gloves for volunteers to wear. I kept feeling nervous until I welcomed the first student volunteer of my working party, Ann, who is a Smithie and works for a local radio station this summer.

Better than I expected, Joanne, Polly, and Jen all dropped by to help me differentiate between herbs and vegetable seedlings, and Joanne, Ann and Fiona (a SSW student) helped me a lot with weeding. We moved a bench from the raised bed side of the plots to the permaculture side. We weeded the area near the 10 raised beds and the two vegetable pots. We were also able to spread wood chips around each raised beds to help prevent the soil inside from getting washed out by heavy rain. Joanne helped us label plants in the garden and Polly helped us start kale seedlings in Capen greenhouse.

picnic                                  Weeding the raised bed side of the garden plots.

I tried my best to take care of all my volunteers and ask them to get a drink after each 30-40 minutes ( I do really calculate the time by looking at my watch quite frequently). After we finished working for the day, Ann, Fiona and I sat around the picnic table in the shade and shared our stories. I felt satisfied with all we had accomplished, and proud of my work when they each told me how well-organized and interesting the working party was.

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