It has been a full season of tending plants around the Midcoast and connecting with people around these green friends at classes, consults, in the woods and fields, and at the amazing Maine Herbalist Gathering to cap it all off. As the days get shorter, and gardens are being put to bed, I have more time to reflect and new ideas for next season are already bubbling up! The best way to stay in touch and up to date is on my Instagram page, but keep checking back here too.
I’ve begun planning for a small garden 6-week internship program at Merryspring Nature Center for spring 2019 that’s outlined below, open to a diverse age group of anyone 16 and up. You can email me through the Connect page here to stay in the loop about it, learn how to apply, and the dates. We are still ironing out some final details… Thanks for your interest and being in touch!
2019 Merryspring Nature Center Garden Internship
In our time together in the garden we will begin with the questions below as a jumping off point to explore the days theme. We will do this through conversation, an observational garden walk and then hands on work including, but not limited to, weeding, planting, pruning, digging, wheelbarrowing and tending. Each week a handout and/or reading resource will be provided. The day is from 10am-3:30pm, BYO lunch (we will break for a half hour to eat), water bottle, weather appropriate clothing, and personal garden tools if you’d like.
Week 1. Garden Design and Layout
What elements should be considered when designing and planning a garden? How are these various components considered in a public garden or nature center setting? What makes a space inclusive to not only humans but insects and animals as well?
Week 2. Welcoming The Plants
As perennial plants are emerging in the spring what can we do to support their healthy growth? What needs to be pruned, tended to, or relocated? How do we best care for annual seedlings and when do we begin to transition them from the greenhouse to the garden?
Week 3. Reconsidering Invasive Plants and Weeds
What are these plants trying to tell us about the soil, the environment they are growing in and what can we learn from them? Do they have uses as food or medicine? How many invasives or weeds can we identify on site?
Week 4. Tending to the Gardener
How can we tend to our health alongside our gardens? What are some remedies that support garden first aid scenarios and overall strength and stamina to work outside in a variety of weather? What does mutual care look like?
Week 5. Native and Endangered Plants
In what ways can we support the continued growth of native plant populations that are at risk for endangerment? What are some of these plants and their ideal growing conditions? Are there potential risk factors for plants becoming endangered in our area?
Week 6. Medicine, Beauty, Food
What plants in the garden offer themselves to these different categories? What signals do we look for to know when or if we can collect or harvest a plant? How would we go about collecting or harvesting these plants if we were to use them for these potentials?