Trip to MacLeish Station

27 Aug

[This is one 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.]

A tour in a mountainous region on a nice sunny day can be interesting. Plus, on a hot summer day, working somewhere under tree shade can be enjoyable. This is what I got to experience on a day this summer when the Botanic Garden interns lent some support up at the MacLeish Field Station.

The MacLeish Field Station is a 240 acre property owned by Smith College, used for both academic research and leisure activities. I visited the Station once last fall with the Smith Outdoor Adventure team. Different from the yellow leaves and cool wind weather of fall, the MacLeish Station has a special beauty in summer time.

I went out with the Botanic Garden interns to work at the field station for one day with the interns who normally care for the Station during the summer. We placed cardboard on the beds created for planting new apple trees. This single task took myself and eight other students a whole morning to complete. In the afternoon, we added wood chips on top of the cardboard. I kept thinking that it’s somehow shameful how little help I provided, but after all the work to clear out weeds, I really was astonished to see how much change we had made. This is part of the beauty of gardening – the surprise you get after you’ve been focusing on a small spot of soil for a long time and then lifting up your eyes to see the whole picture.

Here are some photos from the day.

apple treeThe apple orchard we worked on.

Dan Ladd tree graftingArtist in Residence Dan Ladd’s tree grafting installation.

observatory
The observatory at the station

view of range
The view to the Holyoke range that we got to enjoy.

-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 them.

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