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The Gift of Growth – Episode 2: Growing Relationships


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The Gift of Growth – Episode 2: Growing Relationships

By Sustainability Interns | April 23, 2015

“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.” – Cesar Chavez

I’ve cultivated and nurtured so many relationships in the garden; with the soil, with the plants, with the people but the most important relationship that I’ve nurtured is the relationship within myself.

Working in the garden, I have gained a greater respect for the earth and environment, the community, and also how my actions impact my own body and health. By treating myself better, I can interact with others from a place of positivity and love.

Anyone that comes into the garden is like a visitor coming into my home. I along with my amazing team welcome people from all walks of life to join us and find wellbeing and community in the garden space whether its gardening, food, company, nature, learning, jokes, or even selfies, everyone is a part of the human family in the garden. There is no separation, isolation, or exclusion in R’Garden. It’s a part of the name.

It has been great to see the increasing influx of people coming into the garden this past year. This increase which wouldn’t have been possible without the support and help of the UCR community. From students, volunteers, interns, staff, administration, visitors and other community organizations and businesses none of the things we have accomplished this year would have been possible. Things just seemed to have really come together this year with the garden, especially because of the UC Global Food initiative that was started by UC President Napalitano this past year.

The solar benches that were purchased last year (spring 2014) through HUB Administration and student funding through the student technology fund and Green Campus Action Plan (Green fund) – has given us our primary and sustainable source of energy at the garden. Through their use, we can power our tools and also our free summer movie nights that debuted last summer.

The neighboring solar farm which opened up towards the end of last year (fall 2014), also helped to bring publicity and administration out to the garden space.

As you can see it has been an exciting year in the garden, and it’s not even finished yet!
We just opened our community plots this quarter, and it is definitely off to a great start. It is wonderful to see the diversity that has come into the garden space; diversity in plants, people, and plot styles! Truly amazing to have added so many more people to the R’Garden Family. With this many people involved now, I feel more confident to graduate because I know this garden will be well looked after and will continue to grow long after I am gone. Although I definitely will come back as often as I can to revisit my kinship to this space and the folks that care for it.

Also if you haven’t been to the garden yet, now is definitely the time!

The spring time is perfection in the garden, the flowers are blooming, the summer crops are growing and Dig N’ Dance is around the corner!

Dig N’ Dance will be held on Saturday, April 25th from 5-7 PM in the R’ garden. We will have live music, food vendors, educational and student orgs, workshops, and planting/harvesting activities. Also, you will have the opportunity to join the Owner / Artist of Tio’s Tacos help build an elephant structure filled with plastic bottles.

If you can’t make it then you can always visit us to harvest produce and/or volunteer during our Spring open hours, which are M-F: 8-10 AM, 4-7 PM; Sat: 9 AM-12 PM; and Sun: 4-7 PM. No matter what, in the garden, you take something positive back home every day – whether it’s free food, new friends, or learning – no one every leaves without having received something from Mother Earth.

-Tracey

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