Monday, August 31, 2009

CitySprouts (and The Food Project)!

This summer I had the fabulous opportunity to intern with the organization CitySprouts. Based in Cambridge, MA, this nonprofit will maintain gardens in all of Cambridge's public K-8 schools by this fall.

During the academic year, the CitySprouts' garden coordinators work with the Cambridge school teachers to incorporate the gardens into the school curriculum. Additionally, during the summer, CitySprouts runs a middle school intern program, in which middle school students learn, among other things, how to grow, harvest, and prepare food in an urban environment.

During my internship, I was able to assist two of the garden coordinators with their middle school intern programs, and I held two of the school garden drop-ins while the middle school intern program was in session. I also had the opportunity to work in the CitySprouts office, allowing me to see both sides of the organization.

Working with the CitySprouts staff, and interacting with the other college interns, parents, students, and volunteers in the community was definitely an amazing experience! I would highly recommend volunteering with CitySprouts and volunteering at the CitySprouts' drop-ins, which are held at the various public schools all over Cambridge, from the end of April until mid-November.

And, as you can see, I also had a wonderful time taking plenty of photos during my internship. I am working on creating an online photo album with all of the pictures that I took- I simply could not resist taking pictures of all the beautiful vegetables, flowers, and plants that were in the gardens!!!

And if you do not live in Cambridge, there are plenty of other organizations to volunteer with to get your hands dirty, including The Food Project! The Food Project's mission is to "grow a thoughtful and productive community of youth and adults from diverse backgrounds who work together to build a sustainable food system." During certain times of the year, individuals can volunteer at their drop ins at their Lincoln and Roxbury locations on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. In May, I had the opportunity to volunteer at The Food Project in Roxbury with a group that I am involved with, Slow Food BU. Read about SFBU's experience at The Food Project here!

I cannot believe that classes are starting again and that it will already be September. But that also means that cranberries, pumpkins, and winter squashes will be in season!

Have a great week!