I have just begun reading through the projects my students submitted for Spring 2015 Service Learning and I am giddy with happiness at this submission! THIS is why we work so many hours teaching people through the UWF Student Community Garden!! Check out this blurb from Jasmine:
I had a great learning experience working with the UWF Garden Club. UWF’s garden club’s mission is, “to build community at UWF and in the surrounding region. To promote food sustainability and security by creating an alternative to the industrial system of food production. To teach UWF students, faculty, staff and other how to grow food locally and organically. To encourage healthy eating by increasing access to fruits and vegetables. To increase respect and concern for the natural world. To help students develop leadership and community-building skills”. While volunteering at the garden, my main objective was extermination and preservation. Weeds and invasive grasses were attempting to invade the garden once again. To stop that process we were to move the mulch (where there were green shrubs poking through), pull up the cardboard underneath, pull the weeds and its roots completely from the soil, place new cardboard down (to block the sun from promoting the weeds to grow) and place new mulch on top of that. The entire job that I was involved with revolves around Chapter 10: Evolution and Extinction. The chapter talks about invasive species which are species not native to the environment and will cause harm to the environment it is introduced to or invading. The purpose of my job is to remove the invasive species of grass that is in the garden before it takes over. Remove the species from the root and block the sunlight from nurturing it to grow again. The garden experience is a lesson right from the book. The garden is an organic garden and does not use any harmful chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers that enhance growth using chemicals. The vegetables are grown all naturally which will not harm the environment or get into the food which will be consumed and the chemicals being digested. Keeping the garden 100 percent natural the garden has to use the cardboard to kill off weeds instead of chemicals. I definitely developed and strengthened my skills such as communication and problem solving. Professionally the experienced helped with my people skills and helped me become slightly more comfortable with starting conversations with people. During my experience at the garden I learned so much valuable information about gardening I became motivated to finally create my own garden. The next week I bought all my supplies from Home Depot and got down and dirty to start clean eating.