Monday, July 19, 2010

Hope and Health

We are past the halfway mark of our summer program, and it is a bittersweet time. The farm looks beautiful! The plants are all flourishing: our squash and tomatillos have flowered, signaling they are almost ready to produce fruit, and our tomatoes have already produced little green tomatoes. We worked hard this week staking the tomatoes with scavenged lumber for stakes and colorful yarn for supports, and hay has been spread as mulch over the beds. We have also scavenged some new installations for Mini Eden, including an empty media center stand for storing large items like tools and buckets and a beautiful old dresser for storing smaller things like hand shovels and gloves. The space is now looking very neat and tidy! Canʻt believe we only have two weeks left...

Amadou standing by his creation: tomato stakes with yarn supports

GreenLeaf has also had time to discuss fascinating and inspiring ideas about the themes of the week. The theme for week five was hope, and the following quote by an anonymous source led to great thoughts: “Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working.” Amadou provided some excellent insight into this quote, by reflecting that, “As you work towards a goal, the closer you get to achieving that goal the more tired and discouraged you will get. But if you keep going you will achieve a great accomplishment.” Andrew added his thoughts, “When you lose hope, you become a shadow of your former self. That is why you must always keep hope.” This week we have been discussing health, how we define health, and how GreenLeaf can help make our communities and ourselves healthy. We are also tracking all of the food we eat this week by keeping a food journal.

Tomas staying healthy and enjoying some fresh-picked greens from our very own Mini Eden!

Interns also had the opportunity to visit students in the Seed-to-Seed program, an organization run out of GrowHaus that works with youth to promote food justice awareness. They gave GreenLeaf a tour of the GrowHaus greenhouse, taught us about vermaculture, and showed us how to make seed bombs! We also invited Seed-to-Seed to come to Mini Eden to see how we transformed a vacant lot into a food-producing urban garden. GreenLeaf interns Andrew, Tomas and Jorge led the group in games, a tour of the farm, and great discussion about urban farming. It was a great experience, and GreenLeaf is grateful to have this great community connection with amazing youth and an awesome organization dedicated to food justice!

Goofing around with Seed-to-Seed

And after all of this hard work, it was time to play hard in the waters of Platt River! Jason led GreenLeaf on an outdoor adventure to go rafting in the shallow rapids of the Platt on Friday for an exciting break from farm work. As you can tell, we had a great time.

Emanuel enjoying paddling in the duckie!

A bunch of us on the raft, guided by Jason