Author: Ximena Estrada

Fall Day of Caring: A volunteer’s perspective

Some might think that going out to work in a garden the day after torrential rains would be a not-so great idea. How much mud are you going to encounter? Will the flower beds and vegetable patches be flooded? Will it be gross? Those are some of the questions that might come up. It had rained pretty hard the night before the Austin American-Statesman volunteers were scheduled to volunteer in the JJ Pickle Elementary School garden. Because of this, we showed up in rain boots and rain coats, hats and hooded jackets. By the time we arrived at the school, there were menacing clouds gathering again in the sky, but these provided a great cover for us as we gathered our tools and listened to the instructions for the day. Our volunteer leader, Judith Hutchinson, greeted us with coffee and donuts. She was happy to see that we arrived in a school bus—very appropriate for our volunteering location. We huddled in front of the bus for a picture, and then we were off to the gardens. Judith showed us where all the tools were and gave us plenty of options of where to start and what to improve. There was more than enough enthusiasm to go around. Plenty of fresh green weeds to pull from the raised vegetable beds, and soft, crumbly dirt to turn over with a shovel. We emptied a pond in order to make room for fresh water, trimmed flower bushes and made sure the sprouting vegetables […]

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