For my Humanities class, (Policy) we were assigned to do a community service project. A few students and I decided to participate in creating the garden at GCE. The garden consists of fruits and vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, and bok choy. Working for the garden was a wholeful experience and I gained a lot of knowledge from it. I found that working manual labor in public can be very interesting for people to watch. It was extremely interesting to seehow people reacted when seeing us working on the garden. Below is my reflection, and a video, describing my work, check it out!
What makes me want to do it? I really like the saying, “If you see you see something wrong, you own it” I saw the neglected park way that needed ownership and felt that we (GCE) being responsible stewards have an obligation to care for it.
What do I want to come out of it? To assist the teachers with successfully incorporating the garden into the school’s curriculum: such as composting and how to build fertile soil, chemistry (soil testing), growing herbs, small fruits, and creating components of a wild life habitat etc.
Who will utilize this space? Everyone who walks, bikes or drives pass the park way will be able to visually appreciate the garden aesthetically or enjoy the scents that may emanate from the raised herbal garden. Therefore, in answer to who will utilize this space, the community will use the space. The immediate positive impact that the park way will be beautification and nutrients to the existing trees is who will immediately benefit . As well as, on the June 5, 2013, the seniors whose graduation’s the photos will incorporate the park way transformation.
For my Action Project, I shoveled and tilled the rock patch in order to grow a garden. Some skills I used and will continue to use is my ability and knowledge of plant and farm life. I also used strength and knowledge of tree life and how to avoid roots. The human right I am addressing is the right to eat, and be able to make your own food easily and naturally. The ability to farm gives you the option to eat, work, and sell. Farming is the oldest profession in the history of mankind. My experience tilling and shoveling the space outside of the Global Citizenship High school was a plentiful one. Doing 3.5 hours of manual labor was enlightening as to how food has been produced for millions of years before my existence. Farming is the oldest profession in the history of mankind, and it’s simplicity is what makes it such a durable profession. I found it interesting how connected to the Earth you feel when farming, tilling, or planting. We, however, were only tilling, but felt a strong connection to the land. The amount of physical effort the project took, made us all more invested in our work, and the land that is soon to be. Tilling land is a process that takes extreme amounts of work, so much so that you need as many volunteers as you can get. In our experience, we received a wealth of volunteers who had similar care and interest into the school garden. They were a huge help morally and physically. I am extremely invested in the garden and farm due to the work I had to do make it possible. I think with the amount of people working, helped the amount of investment into the farm/garden.While the work itself was quite difficult, we never actually faced serious tribulations.
What I find to be most interesting, is how people react to witnessing others doing community service. Many people were outgoing, asking questions, and relating to us, as if they understand the struggles of manual labor. It is easy to tell that many people have used manual labor as a way to increase income or get community service hours. Although, many people were, interestingly enough, sorry for us. People had automatically assumed that we were doing this as a punishment. I find that to be extremely interesting that when people see kids doing manual labor, they assume that they are serving a punishment. I think this is a representation of how youth is looked at and treated in America. Kids have a certain power that they did not have before, where as they are in control of their future careers, schools, and work options. Whereas previously, all future options were unavailable. I also believe that most working adults in 2013 grew up in an era in which they were not given the selection of their future.
Overall, tilling the land was an outstanding experience. I learned a lot about how to farm and what it means to farm in an urban area. Working while studying the mannerisms of those walk by was fascinating. Working for GCE is always an enlightening experience, the way it’s students attract and gravitate to otherwise tough, or petty, work is unmatchable.