“I think it’s so cool that you make so much of what you use here. It’s just really cool.” This was just a piece of my conversation with a teen volunteer last week while repairing a compost bin in the Education Garden, and a sure sign that things are off to a great start!
As the new Education Program Coordinator, I have many tasks on my plate: developing curriculum for the Spring Afterschool programs, observing soil critters with 3rd graders from the Woodland School, planting in the Education Garden so there is a robust source of produce for our Green Power cooking program, and writing newsletter editorials, to name a few! There are many formal and quantitative ways to evaluate the successes of these tasks, however, I know things have gone well when I hear a young person tell me that something they’ve learned or done with me is “cool.” I reflect on the past two weeks working with our great volunteer and think of how much we accomplished together: roofed and predator-proofed the chicken coop, researched companion planting (for example: leeks and carrots grow well together because the leek helps repel carrot flies), seeded four garden beds with lettuce, beets, brussel sprouts and more, and sketched a preliminary map of the garden. And as I count and document it all, I can’t help but smile when I think of the intangible outcomes, such as building our own unique “companion relationships” here in Weston.
I am excited to be here and look forward to more of these great moments. There is always more to do! Call (781-893-1162) or send an email my way (firstname.lastname@example.org) if your favorite teen is looking for some volunteer opportunities or ways to get involved!