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On May 19, Colorado Reading Corps members partnered with volunteers from Redeemer Church in Fort Collins to help prep the church's Community Garden. Each year, this garden provides an average of 5,000 pounds of fresh produce to the Food Bank of Larimer County.
Corps members took part in this service opportunity as part of National Volunteer Month, as well as our Cesar Chavez Day of Service project. We helped prep the soil, and then planted zucchini squash, cucumbers, and Early Girl and Roma tomato seedlings.
It was striking to see how quickly we could accomplish a task when all hands were on deck. We started the day off by completing various tasks to ready the garden for planting. Some tilled and laid fertilizer, while some of us followed behind and evened out the soil. Others dug out weeds, and still others set up tomato cages and plant stakes. After we completed all the prep work, everyone took part in planting the seedlings. This is where our teamwork became most evident: you would plant maybe two seedlings before looking up and seeing that the whole row was finished. We continued like this, row by row, until all the seedlings were planted. Row by row, we planted these seedlings that will later produce nutritious sustenance for hundreds, if not thousands, of people.
Such a production also reminds us of the extraordinary, at times cumbersome, work that goes into growing food. In a society where gathering food often simply means grabbing it off the supermarket shelf, there is something special about slowing down and taking part in even a small part of the fresh food production process. Reaching our hands into the (freezing cold) soft soil, the rain pelting our backs, we can better appreciate the tremendous work farmers put in every day, rain or shine.
Tess Halac currently serves as a Literacy Tutor with United Way of Larimer County’s AmeriCorps Colorado Reading Corps program. As a Literacy Tutor, Tess meets one-on-one with Garfield Elementary kindergarten through third grade students who need assistance with learning to read.
This material is based upon work supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) under AmeriCorps Grant No. 15AFHCO0010014. Opinions or points of view expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of, or a position that is endorsed by, CNCS or the AmeriCorps program.
Copyright 2015 United Way of Larimer County