As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday and end of the semester, I have been reflecting on the UVa Community Garden fall season, and wanted to share a few of the things I am thankful for:

  • All of the amazing volunteers who showed up each week for workdays and watered the garden everyday.  We recorded over 100 volunteer hours in 3 short months!
  • The amazing garden leadership team who committed tremendous time, knowledge, and excitement to planning garden events
  • All of the people who checked out the blog and commented with notes, suggestions, and ideas.  There were over 2,300 hits!
  • The local farmers and community members who provided donations, guidance, and support for the garden
  • The University of Virginia for allowing us to have the garden!  Also, Professor Tim Beatley and Facilities Management for their continued guidance and support
  • The local media who helped share our story with the community including an article in the C-ville newspaper, photographs on the UVa “Week in Photos” and a television episode on Meet the Farmer TV:
  • The delicious fall vegetables that continue to grow!
  • And much, much more….

I am also so thankful for the opportunity to serve as the manager of the UVa Community Garden.  It’s been a pleasure to meet so many new people and share the joy of gardening.  I look forward to seeing now familiar faces at workdays each week and working side by side with fellow students.  I find great joy in planting seeds, weeding beds, spreading mulch, enjoying the harvest, and completing other garden tasks.  But the greatest joy is seeing someone else experience the joys (and challenges!) of growing food and sharing the excitement of a fresh radish plucked from the ground or the sweetness of a fresh sugar snap pea eaten in the garden.  Thank you all for sharing these experiences.

As you celebrate Thanksgiving and the holiday season, don’t forget to think about where your food came from and thank those who made it possible to share the feast!

– Dana Smith, garden manager



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