Bernheim has provided me and many other interns with a new way to look at nature and the world in ways we would never imagined. From the new friendships with coworkers and each other to exploring and acquiring as much knowledge as possible while here, we have been given amazing opportunities to grow and learn at Bernheim. During my time in the Edible Garden, I was constantly remind of this wonderful chance I was given, as not only student of horticulture, but also a student of nature. The Edible Garden and arboretum are remarkable places for students like myself. Bernheim not only teaches us character through hard work but also how to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Sustainability is not the easiest process to adapt to: it takes a lot of work. Luckily, we are living in a time where innovative technologies are available and making sustainable choices is not as daunting as it once was. Through transitioning to solar panels, electric mowers, water conservation, and natural vegetable production we are able to grow using more green methods. In doing so, we help share lessons and help to preserve the Earth for future generations.
In the Edible Garden, I have learned the best practices of organic farming. Although it can be very tedious and meticulous at times, it allows us an opportunity to consider our place in the natural world and how we can learn from nature. While weeding the carrot plots, I thought about life as a small insect just trying to live its life. Yet here I am, a giant taking down their shelters and homes. As I thin the carrots in the garden (removing young carrots too close together to thrive), I feel like a giant going through a tiny forest pulling out the weak and unwanted shoots so that the strong can thrive. As I am weeding out the undesirables, I imagine minuscule homes are destroyed, left in shambles as everything decays to compost once again.
What I’ll miss most from this summer are the people. The dirt will wash off every time but the people who left an impact on you will always remain. Good gardeners are like perennials, people will always see them year after year. The interactions with the people here has left me hopeful for the future. From coworkers to supervisors, everyone wants you do well in life to achieve your goals and dreams. Thanks to Bernheim for the opportunity to able to gain from this experience and earn new friendships.
-Rachel Rader, Edible Garden Intern