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Growing with Green Thumbs

It’s hard to believe that my time with Green Thumbs is already coming to end – and I’m only writing my first blog post now! These past 8 months have been unlike any in my life: challenging, inspiring, exhausting, and exhilarating. Completing my practicum placement with Green Thumbs has provided me with the space, tools, and support to grow my urban agriculture skills, while also upholding the values of anti-oppression, empowerment, and respect in which we ground our work in the Community Worker Program. I’ve had the opportunity to work with a team of dedicated and diverse staff, students, and volunteers, all of whom are wholeheartedly committed to growing gardens, minds, and relationships. We would often get lost in conversations that started with what to put in a vermicompost bin and end with sharing stories of personal struggle and liberation. Working with a group of people who share the same values and vision for food and social justice has been profoundly rewarding and inspiring.

Sara (right), after building new shed, with (l-r) Brad, Cassie and Mona

There are so many highlights to reflect on from the past 8 months, but for the sake of space, I’ll draw upon my hard earned skills of concision. Unparalleled was having the opportunity to develop, lead, and evaluate my own program from the ground up. Working with my fellow Community Worker-In-Training, we spent long days researching program ideas, developing a cohesive and engaging program plan, networking with local community organizations to participate, and gathering all of the materials to deliver our “Growing Up!” program. After all of our hard preparation work, we successfully led 4 chaotic yet extremely enjoyable sessions over March Break at the beautiful Allan Gardens Children’s Conservatory. 64 kids from ages 6 to 12 joined us from Central Neighbourhood House, Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club, and Regent Park South Community Centre, as we learned about plant parts, planted our own basil and kale seeds to take home, prepared our own pesto with kale and basil leaves, and went on a magical tour of the 5 greenhouses. It was such a treat to call the greenhouse home for a cold March week, and to share and learn so much from each of our young participants. It never ceases to amaze me how much information kids can soak up and how ready and willing they are to learn more!

I am eternally grateful for all of the wonderful learning and leading opportunities that I’ve had at Green Thumbs this year, but maybe even more so, for the meaningful and lasting relationships that I’ve developed and the community that we’ve built together.

Sara (right), after building new shed, with (l-r) Brad, Cassie and Mona

Author Sara Fegelman

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