Wed 18 July, 10:00 am: Community garden proves to be playing a significant role in facilitating learning and experience for student employees.
COMMUNITY GARDEN NEWS
A renowned community garden, Fountain Community Garden located in Los Angeles is believed to be playing a significant role in not only facilitating sustainability and ethical reforms to its employees and the community at large but also facilitating learning and enhancing the experience to its student employees. It is identified that this community garden employs students as interns and attachés from various colleges and universities both local students and international students. The garden grows various types of plants including fruits and flowers which therefore attract many students and community members (“Fountain Community Gardens,” n.d.). Recently, there has been a heated debate on whether community gardens facilitate learning and experience to student employees, therefore we visited Fountain Community garden to find answers in relation to this debate.
“Our garden is open to everyone, we have diverse employees among them are student employees,” says Manager, Harry White, “ We believe in growing our own, make and mend, and that is why we have a big number of student employees that we train them with an aim of making them gain resourceful knowledge and experience.”
In essence, Fountain Community Garden is centered on nurturing skills, knowledge and social empowerment via garden-related activities (“Fountain Community Gardens,” n.d.). It was noted that this garden is the most preferred place where students go in order to learn and re-learn fundamental skills in attributed to food consumption and production as well. The facility also encourages teamwork, effective management and stakeholders’ consultation that is beneficial in facilitating the learning of its student employees.
This garden exploits the use of bottom-up strategy to enhance collective learning for the student employees (“Fountain Community Gardens,” n.d.). For instance, it was noted that students and also other people unfamiliar with horticulture, food producing and preparing knowledge are capable of developing new useful skills, though in a compassionate and participatory environment instead of a top-down management strategy to train and educate the students.
The most significant aspect of this garden is its grassroots nature that makes sure that they are rooted within the community from its inception. The garden management ensures that this is achieved through facilitating interactive learning practices and various task-oriented activities which people are familiar with based on their day-to-day experiences. “We sometimes carryout cookery shows for the community to participate in which gives our student employees to lead in conducting and participating in this events,” said manager, White.
Apparently, this Fountain Community Garden really values its student employees. They are given equal opportunities like any other employee and given support whenever they need. Student employees get the opportunity to not only take part in practical activities such as planting, hoeing, picking, raking and tending the garden but also get to learn about healthy food and also get to apply the knowledge they learned in school practically. These activities enable them to connect to their school knowledge with the practical work activities, which improves their experience. It is therefore vivid that Fountain Garden Community benefits student employees in facilitating their learning and expertise.