A warm hello to you all again!
As of today, I am nearing the one-month mark as a Nutrition Education Intern for the High Plains Food Bank, at the Maverick Boys and Girls Club. My experience thus far has been filled with growth, of which I look forward to expanding upon in upcoming blogs. Before I talk about that however, I wanted to describe my initial experiences as an Intern for the High Plains Food Bank.
In addition to the Nutrition Education programs that I provide for the Maverick Boys and Girls club, I oversee a small garden located behind the Maverick building. Due to my limited experience in gardening, my supervisor, Justin Young, saw it fit that I spend a week training at the High Plains Food Bank Garden, otherwise known as the “Mother Garden” of the Maverick Garden. My training week was spent with a knowledgeable employee of the Garden, who supplied me with a crash course on gardening.
Initially, my first few tasks dealt with becoming familiar with weeds and the basic techniques used to remove them, such as hoeing and using a trowel. After those basic techniques were learned, I moved onto my favorite task called “card-boarding and mulching.” Card-boarding and mulching dealt with areas that had been recently planted, and during my time, pumpkins were in season.The idea behind card-boarding and mulching is to limit sunlight exposure to the desired plants, and exclude weeds.
First, we hoed the area, being diligent in removing as much of the weeds and their roots as possible. Then, we gathered cardboard boxes and began to break them down into flat pieces. The next step was a personal favorite of mine because the task resembled assembling a puzzle. Using the flat cardboard pieces, we arranged the pieces to cover every inch of the area, while leaving small opening for the pumpkin leaves that had just begun to protrude through the ground. This task required critical thinking, as the cardboard pieces would not arrange easily.
After we finished an area, I was consumed with satisfaction due to the productive work we had just accomplished. My time training in the Garden almost always felt this way due to my ability to perform physically-strenuous tasks underneath the hot sun. I found a new appreciation for this type of labor work, and have come to enjoy it on a daily basis at the Maverick Garden (of which I have attached pictures for your viewing below). Gardening is yet another tool that aids the fight for a healthier lifestyle, in that it provides fresh produce and a task that is physically-demanding.
Thank you for your time!