New Ideas and New projects
My first day at GardenShare was filled with so much information, I thought I might never understand all of the projects and inner-workings of the organization. My coworker, Maggie a member of AmeriCorps VISTA, told me it took her about the same length of time as my internship to understand and really grasp what this organization is like and what they do. This obviously signified to me just how much more I had to learn.
Despite feeling somewhat overwhelmed, all that I was learning was very exciting and intriguing. Part of my reasoning for applying to work with GardenShare was to learn more about farmers markets and what eating local in St. Lawrence County looks like. Due to the small numbers of employees in the organization, only three including myself, I work on a weird mixture of simple tasks and big projects that require taking on a lot of responsibility. Despite some tasks being easy and straightforward, I was still challenged.
For example, one day I was supposed to pin pictures of vegetables next to their names on a board I had been organizing for a study they are doing. As it turns out, my knowledge of vegetables and what they look like is slimmer than I realized. Having to figure out just simply what a vegetable looks like and is called was a big learning experience for me.
On the other hand, one of my tasks is to create, organize, and promote a “Family Fun Day” at each of the five farmers markets in the county. My second day, I luckily was able to manage to get some good ideas down and begin organizing them, just in time for my meeting with all of the local farmers market managers. There I was able to present and explain my ideas. Thinking about how I could draw in people, be educational, and create activities that were for the most part free, is challenging me in ways I had not been before. The managers were responsive and offered to help, but still I am concerned on how I will make my ideas come to life and perform the way I hope.
In addition to my events, I am helping promote farmers markets through social media. I have just begun Farmers Week. This week-long series uses a previously created idea, Farmer Friday, a weekly blog post that features the story/photos of different farmers across the county. Hopefully, the series will bring more attention to the farmers it has highlighted. Since the organization is so overwhelmed due to its size, it has not been able to keep up with the posts and advertise their farmers as they would hope to. So, Farmers Week takes the blogs already done and reposts them in a new format. My hope is to be able to do some of my own farmer Friday blogs to help expand the number of farmers who can be featured.
Aside from focusing on farmers market, I am helping with GardenShare’s other two big events coming up: Summer Adventures and the Jake’s on the Water fundraising dinner. I will be helping design and conduct lessons for the camp and preparing the free lunches GardenShare will be offering each day. For the dinner, I will be selling raffle tickets and helping run the silent auction. Both are new and exciting for me, and I am eager to gain the experience I will receive from helping coordinate these events.
Lastly, I am most excited about working with Anna, a former intern, who is coming up and doing interviews and videotaping different farms and events across the county. Photography is a passion of mine, but I have not worked a whole lot with film making, so I am thrilled to get to see how she does it and learn first-hand techniques I can use in the future. So far, I am learning a lot and finding out what I can and cannot do, but also how I can become a well-rounded student and employee which I think will largely be beneficial for me in the future.