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228 Hours

By Emily Sullivan

As the Mary Baldwin College spring semester is drawing to a close the students are beginning their finals as I am knee-deep in reflections of the last 13 weeks of working with students and facilitating volunteer hours with them.
Figuring out how to build an affordable cold-frame & having fun!
Two students planting carrot seeds
Throughout this semester 19 students were required to fulfill 25 volunteer hours, half of which were allocated to working on the MBC Student Garden. We started seeds, built a cold frame, learned about garden planning, discussed the global food system, successfully planned an event showcasing the student projects, got to know each other, experienced the challenges of event-organizing and team-work,
empowered ourselves and our peers, and perhaps most importantly, planted the seeds for lifelong learning and began to change the culture.
Several students built a sandwich chalk board sign to advertise for Garden events
Plant your own flower activity in recycled water bottles!
Students designing their “planters”
One of many kale transplants started from seed by students
Beautiful (& delicious!) apple rose tarts made by students
Flyers made to promote the new Student Garden Campus group
Students learning how to prep beds showing their “empowered farmer” poses
Measure twice, cut once! Students building a cold frame together
Cutting twice
Students working on the chalk/sandwich board, with salvaged plywood & homemade chalkboard paint
Students collecting compost donated from a nearby neighbor
With these 228 hours working on the MBC Student Gardens I have learned a little about what it takes to be a volunteer coordinator, a teacher, and a mentor through working with these bright and challenging young women.
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