ALI instructor Ravyn McKee and garden coordinator/master gardener Kay Snyder introduced students to various gardening activities. They weeded and cultivated vegetable and strawberry beds, and planted flower seeds. These were new experiences for them. One student commented that there were no community gardens in Japan where she and her cohorts lived.
The students helped harvest vegetables and took some back to their residence hall. Using fresh potatoes they dug up that day, they made potato salad and shared with one another.
The students really enjoyed their time at the community garden, and they returned the following week. Anthropology students from Dr. Poole's Cultural Ecology class were also at the garden that day. The community garden was a warm and welcoming setting for the students as the two groups engaged in conversations with each other, gaining cross-cultural experiences while learning about gardening and ecology.
Japanese student Riko Okutani watered seeds that were sown for a winter cover crop. The cover crop will protect the soil while improving soil texture and fertility for next year's growing season.
American and Japanese students learned a little bit about each other and enjoyed one another's company as they pulled weeds and installed plant identification tags.
The day was quite warm. Crisp, sweet watermelon, obtained locally from the Indiana County Farmers Market, was a perfect and refreshing component of a light lunch under the pavillion.