Friday, August 13, 2010

Thanks to the Garden Interns, it will be a Delicious Fall on Spruce Knob

Hello! We are the garden interns. We have had an incredible summer, and we'd like to let you in on it.

My name is Anna Poaster. I am originally from Boston, MA and I am going to be a junior at Carleton College in Minnesota. I came up to Spruce because I wanted the opportunity to learn, in a really hands on way, what it takes to make a garden grow. I'm really interested in urban farming and getting into the Edible Schoolyards movement, but I figured I should spend some time learning how to garden before trying it in the city. I liked the idea of Spruce's garden being a new project because it has made for lots of opportunities for us to figure out new plans and inject our own creativity into the long run objective of SKMC being more agriculturally sustainable.

...And my name is Meg Trau. I am from Georgia, and I will be a junior at College of the Atlantic in Maine. I was looking for internships in agriculture or outdoor education, which made TMI the perfect fit. I am a botany nerd, and I get fired up about food systems issues. Last term, I took a course on the theory and practice of organic gardening, and I have been able to bring all that knowledge to life this summer.

We have done a variety of different projects that have given us new skills we never thought we would get from being "garden interns" - like using power tools! Some of our bigger endeavors were building a rotating composter and planning for an expansion of the garden. Hopefully Spruce will be able to produce even more food in coming years. This summer, we have battled flea beetles, cucumber beetles, slugs, and sneaky rodents. But we have still managed to add some freshness to the kitchen - radishes, cucumbers, lettuce, kale, tomatoes, and squash. Everyone love cooking with produce from the garden, and it has been extremely gratifying to provide it.

We were also charged with finding local and organic alternatives to ordering from a food distribution company. This led us all over West Virginia and part of Virginia too. We went to several farmers' markets and even a Mennonite produce auction. It was really fun (and tasty) to get to meet farmers from all over the state.

More than anything, we have enjoyed life on the mountain. It is a serence and quiet place to spend time, punctuated by energy and excitement from the many groups that come through. Neither one of us knew what to expect when we signed up to move to West Virginia for 3 months, but we have found a wonderful community and organization that we hope to stay in touch with for a long time. Thanks for a wonderful summer, TMI!

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