A.L.L. ECO-ART Interns Say Good-Bye To Summer While School-Year Students Welcome New Season With Glorious Gladiolas

Welcome from July‘s A.L.L. ECO-ART Interns.  During this month A Living Library was blooming with garden growth and great ideas, which combined, created some very meaningful change.

Gladiolus began to bloom in glorious shades of crisp white to fluorescent pink, and the deepest, violet purple, that made them look like velvet.  Tomato, squash, and beans grew with true vigor. We had pumpkin flowers the size of a 4 year-old’s head !  Our OMI/Excelsior Branch Living Library & Think Park owes it all to the hard work of our A.L.L. ECO-ART Student Stewards.  These 20 interns, some new, and some returning, made the A.L.L. Eco-Art Internship a true success because of their hard work in the Living Library Gardens, their continued role-modeling for the younger children, and, their overall, zestful appreciation of learning about the future sustainability of our communities and natural environment.  

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July took students on an Adventure beyond the garden basics. With two months for each cohort of Stewards – June and July, each of the four weeks was focused on learning about the state of the earth from our human impact, and how each person is able and responsible to make small steps for change.

Students spent a week at a time, learning about conventional agricultural practices vs. local/sustainable farming, available, green space in San Francisco, energy and water resource consumption, and how to make a difference in our place, in San Francisco.  Our students took these concepts and their understanding of the cohesiveness of the world we live in, to new heights.

Congratulations Eco-Art Interns !

We cannot thank you enough for all of your help, intelligent inquiry, and laughter; You are amazing! 

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We want to thank you for giving our daughter a chance to be a part of the summer work force at A Living Library. She came home with lots of recipes to try out on our family and thoughts about taking care of our planet. She was also proud of the art projects she had created and it helped push our family toward a more environmentally friendly lunchtime packing model because we have stopped buying the plastic sandwich bags and we now use a plastic sandwich box container. Little steps for the future. Thanks again!” – Parent of A.L.L. Eco-Art Intern

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These 5 gentlemen joined A Living Library Eco-Art Internship through the San Francisco MYEEP (Mayor’s Youth Education and Employment Program).

Thank you guys so much, for all your hard work here at the Living Library Gardens. Your team spirit, high levels of responsibility and work quality, and endless good energy and questions, made the summer a truly amazing experience. 

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Our MYEEP workers’ final project was to construct a green house for scratch, and look at what amazing workmanship turned out. A translucent plastic cover is all that it needs. 

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Seasonal summer crops brought some bright action and appetizing food creations to our Living Library Gardens including Fresh Mint and Parsley Tabouli, Spring Rolls, and Sun Tea. 

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Each week the A.L.L. Internship Team was put to the test.  As the weeks went on,  Team Challenges became more and more difficult.  Strategy, cooperation, and communication were needed to complete each task. Look at the trust our Interns show in each other. 

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 A lesson on San Francisco Greening brought light to the idea that gardens do not have to be horizontal chunks of land. Gardens can be build on a wall, on a door step, even a window sill. Student Stewards use reclaimed wood to create their own garden boxes to take home with them. 

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Scientific experiments were prolific this session as students learned to question,  How do plants absorb resources ? What tools can be created to filter polluted water ? How can the sun cook food ? And, Why are my Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on Fire ? As on of our interns said, in the words of Alicia Keys… “This Cheetos’ on Fire! This Cheetos’ on Fire!”  

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 And, REACH The Future visits A Living Library to teach about energy conservation and green technology!

And, before these big changes happened this July, earlier in the Spring, much was also accomplished. 

Follow students through their preparation and success of their first Farmers Stand.  A Free Farmer’s Market offering healthy, seasonal  food, flowers, potted plants, and seeds to local students and families was instituted.  Our students learned that their hard work was a major active step to combat “food deserts” in urban communities.  Fresh, nutritious, affordable, food options are not always available, and students worked together to understand, and remedy environmental and social change in our local community. And, as the practice of A Living Library and permaculture suggest, the earth is bountiful, and bounty should be shared. 

A Living Library is Cultivating the Human & Ecological Garden !

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To celebrate the completion of their 8 week intensive, A.L.L. Eco-Art Internship, we took a hike. Another 4 hour, 5 mile hike that is. This time we saw San Francisco from above, in the hilltops of John McLaren Park. If you have not yet had the chance to visit, it is another one of San Francisco’s hidden green treasures!

Thanks for joining us on this epic adventure, check back next month for more fun from, and for, A.L.L.  !!

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Blog post written by A Living Library Garden Instructor, Courtney Calkins. 

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