Many thanks to DC Greens Summer Garden Army for their help last week, and thanks to our summer garden intern Jordan Carter, who tended the garden at Tyler Elementary. Read about Jordan's experience below.
This summer I had the opportunity to work very closely with FoodPrints’ and FRESHFARM Markets’ very own Ibti at Tyler Elementary as a garden intern. The experience was enriching from beginning to end. Sadly, now the summer has come to a close, but I will take the experiences and memories with me as I finish my studies and begin pursuing my career.
During my first few weeks school was still in session, so I had the chance to assist Ibti with teaching Pre-K students how to make soil balls and plant beans. I was able to work with third graders in the garden as they twined bean trellises, harvested over 10 pounds of purple potatoes, and used fresh produce from the garden to prepare a summer salad. Working with children and teaching them about nutrition through cooking demos and gardening inspired me to incorporate this teaching method in the future.
Prior to Ibti’s vacation to Scotland & Ireland, we collaborated in the garden twice a week working on maintenance, signage, planting, and my personal favorite -- harvesting! When the time came for Ibti to leave the garden responsibilities to me, I felt well equipped to handle the task.
During my prior gardening experience in Los Angeles, I always felt I was assisting but not leading. This opportunity to manage the Tyler Elementary garden expanded my garden familiarity and skills, while also giving me the confidence to deal with any unfamiliar tasks that arose.
It felt fitting to wrap up my internship experience with my fellow interns at the Tyler Elementary garden, where Ibti and I showed them the results of our hard work this summer. The workday was concluded with a picnic featuring our herb infused water and tabbouleh with ingredients from the garden. I would like to thank DC Greens, FoodPrints, FRESHFARM Markets, and Whittier College’s Department of Kinesiology for their gracious work and the opportunity to spend the summer in DC working on food access and food education.