It has been a busy couple of months at the Community Roots Gathering Garden located on the NIC education corridor on the east side of Hubbard Street. A core group of volunteers, in partnership with young adults from Work Ready, have been busy transforming this neglected old mill site into an example of Permaculture principles and techniques. Community Roots seeks to connect the community with the land that feeds them through the educational example at the Gathering Garden.
Among the many wonderful people involved in getting the garden up and running is NIC intern, Maria Garcia. Maria began her studies at NIC in the field of sociology but when she took an environmental science class from professor Julie Vanmiddlesworth her interest began to change.
Like most children growing up there was no one in Maria’s family that had even a small vegetable patch. While working in the food service industry as a young adult, Maria still had the same disconnect that most people have regarding how and where their food is grown. Learning to take water and soil samples to determine their content and quality changed all that. Now Maria understands that everyone’s health and quality of life is ultimately dependent on the health and quality of our natural resources. Maria will be monitoring soil productivity at the Gathering Garden to help us better understand what components we need to add to increase soil fertility. She will also be serving as the garden’s caretaker making sure plants are well watered and cared for on days not regularly scheduled for garden activity.
Maria’s enthusiasm, strong work ethic and easy-going personality are a wonderful addition to the Gathering Garden team. Maria says, “I love the diversity and challenge of this project. There is so much to learn and it is rewarding to see the immediate results of your effort. I plan to stay involved in the Gathering Garden, one way or another, for
s long as I possibly can.”
Want to get involved?
- Go to the Community Roots Gathering Garden facebook page for weekly and monthly scheduled work days and times.
- Join us for the first monthly Community Work Party on July 13th from 3-6 PM. A potluck and garden tours will follow. Hugelkultur is a Permaculture method for creating self-watering, self-fertilizing raised beds. Lend a hand and learn how to create a Hugelkultur mound at our Community Work Party on July 13th.
Sending out a big thank you to our first round of Work Ready employees that got this garden growing: Aaron, Jordan, Joey, Cody, Zach, Nick, Hailey, Joe, Sean, and Brandon.
We are so grateful for this partnership and your enthusiasm.