We began the day as we always do, sitting on the covered patio in the back of the Sanctuary, eating bagels, drinking coffee, and making sense of the day’s work to come. However, as today began the final week of Uptown Summer 2016, we spent some of this time in reflection of how the summer has progressed, what we were afraid of at the beginning of the summer and how we have changed or moved beyond that fear in the past few weeks. We went around the room, seeing the ways in which fear has been pushed aside over the course of the summer, and has given way to new friendships, to creative and important projects, to meaningful and beautiful gardening.
From here, we transitioned to the final Tuesday Spanish in the Garden workshop of the summer. Today, we learned from Mara, a friend of Jillian’s who has been teaching English in Spain for the past year. We learned the Spanish words for the plants that we have been caring for and harvesting at Collard City Growers this summer. While some of the words were new to us, others were a review of what we have learned in weeks prior. We were able to test our knowledge, and collectively decided that uvas, the Spanish word for grapes, was the most fun word that we learned this summer.
We moved from the Carriage House into the garden for a learning game of “Veo, Veo,” or “I Spy.”
“¿Dónde estάn las cebollas?” Mara asked.
“Aquí están las cebollas!” another person would respond when the onions were found. This continued throughout the garden, as Spanish and English words mixed in with the plants and their caretakers.
As the day progressed, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the first Tuesday of Uptown Summer 2016. Then, we visited Freedom Square with Isaiah Zagar, the artist who helped the community create the mosaic on the stage. Today, we were joined by Abby Lubin, who helped to envision and create a garden at 3337 6th Avenue when it was still a vacant lot. So much has changed since this moment, with many hands and hearts building Collard City Growers into its present state of abundance and learning. So much has changed since the beginning of Uptown Summer as well, with the summer youth employees learning and teaching and growing more into the Environmental Stewards and Neighborhood Storytellers that our communities and our world greatly needs.
This post was written by Sanctuary intern Jenna Kersten.