I had four main goals approaching the summer. I wanted to improve the images of the gardens, engage more residents in garden programs, get property management and services excited about the gardens, and understand food issues surrounding each property. I still believe at the end of the summer these are the four most important aspects of creating great gardens and programs surrounding them. It is multifaceted and inclusive from Somerset, the properties, and the residents.
Improve Garden Images
In order to get people excited about gardens, they cannot be overgrown. Therefore, they need to be presentable and ordered, so people not used to gardening can see potential.
The only way I saw the garden programs taking off were if each resident coordinator was engaged themselves in the garden. Many expressed to me they didn't have a green thumb or enjoy gardening, however, the importance and influence lies in understanding the usefulness of a garden and conveying that to residents.
My goal was to get as many people excited and into their gardens as I could. This meant dedicating time and effort into each garden. My goal was to teach people as we would work together on how best to garden.
Understand Food Issues and Needs
At the beginning of my summer, I wanted to learn as much as I could about the DC area and about each property's area. I believed that one of the best ways to do this was to obviously spend time at each one, but also try to understand and research food access issues facing each community. Through this, I wanted to understand how to change each negative situation.