You may have noticed a few blog posts by new authors. Yes, yes, these are the writings of our newest, shiniest interns of the summer. We have been completely immersed in nearly two weeks of intensive training in lifeguarding, high ropes course, gardening, and North 40 cleanup!
It has been a bit of a whirlwind, piecing together schedules that include all the necessary components to set this group of college students up for operating as their best at Happy Valley for the summer. There have been lots of edits, definitely a few mistakes, and moments of deep appreciation for their addition to the family here.
My piece, aside from making sure they are fed and enjoying themselves thoroughly, has been introducing them to the garden!
I am overwhelmingly pleased to be met with enthusiasm and excitement for their uncharted endeavors in the dirt.
First, I had the three interns determine what plants will grow in the months of June, July, and August, the months of their tenure.
Then, they chose which plants are most interesting to them, that they are interested in planting.
With that knowledge, they must know what each of those plants needs in order to successfully grow into thriving green plants. They researched using my garden books and the internet. This of course, brought up the issue of conflicting “facts.” Oh, the internet…
Each of these three interns have their own spiral garden to plant in. We went to the garden after they’d gathered all their information and planned out their space, determining where to put what and how much – do I need a trellis? How can I make that work?
Then, we had to acquire the seeds they chose to grow, so we took a field trip to the San Lorenzo Garden Center at a bushy-eyed 8 am! Our new gardeners had the opportunity to see some plants at young stages and pick out the seeds from the organic shelves.
I’ll tell you, I could not have predicted how excited these three have been to get into the garden to start their plots. I mean, they have considered growing things based on whether they would be around long enough to harvest them, and they always ask “when are we going out into the garden again?” It’s been such a thrill.
Finally, today we planted seeds. I know their spirals will be glorious with the successes they bring, and I can’t wait until I hear the exclamation of the first sprout!
It’s cool to witness completely fresh hands in the garden. These individuals have more guidance than I did, and have much less of the insecurities I have with planting. They want to plant the coolest things, which they are genuinely interested in, things I have been hesitant to start for my own timid reasons. They don’t carry the same worries about messing up, or people judging their choices. Mikayla and I keep repeating to each other “It’s an experiment!” (aah, feels familiar:)
I’m learning through their confidence that I can be more confident in everything I create out there. Forget the fictional pressures of what others “expect” and plant and grow for the beauty of it. Forget to be scared. Indulge your curiosities. Create a trellis that may or may not be tall enough. Everything doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect, because chances are, our standards of perfect are unnecessary for success.
The best I can do is offer anyone who comes into the garden a feeling of safety in branching out and getting excited about the possibilities.