Even though the summer is over, here at Summer of Solutions-Middleton we are continuing to involve students in our garden project. We are working with the Ecology Clubs at both Middleton High School and the Clark Street Community School, providing students with projects to fulfill their service-learning hours, and outreaching to teachers to help them to see our gardens as teaching spaces. Much of this has been possible because of the help of our two fall interns, Caila and Sara.
Hey! I’m Caila Fredrick, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. First and foremost, you should know that I love to eat. You could say this motivates most of what I do, from packing my backpack with 10% books and 90% snacks, to hopping on board with Gabrielle and Natalie as they bring high school students out of the desk chair and into a classroom filled with dirt, plants, worms, and good old-fashioned working with your hands.
My love for being outside and Mama Earth began when I was a brace-faced ten year old canoeing through the Northwoods of Wisconsin with Camp Manito-wish YMCA. I’ve been goofing around in the woods ever since, and now I strive to bring that love of nature into my kitchen…and into my belly. I believe in knowing where your food comes from, and in making it taste good. More importantly, I believe in sharing this passion, something I get to do with Growing Food and Sustainability. I especially look forward to bringing the philosophies of experiential education, which have been so powerful for me through work at Camp Manito-wish and through Adventure Learning Programs in Madison, into my time with the high school students in Middleton.
Hopping in the car tomorrow with my co-intern, Sara, will mark the second week of working with Growing Food and Sustainability. My experience thus far has consisted of being introduced to a whole host of fantastic, motivated people, beginning to plan lessons for students, and spending a few hours chatting and plucking tomatoes, leeks, hot, hot peppers, and more from the garden. I can’t wait for what this semester with the folks over in Middleton will bring!
Hi, I’m Sara Márquez. I am currently a re-entry junior at UW-Madison, majoring in English and Environmental Studies with an emphasis on community and environmental sociology. I live on the North side of Madison with two (middle-aged) skater boys and my two chickens, Peanut Butter and Hank. I work at Osteria Papavero in downtown Madison, as well as on my friend’s organic farm in Verona, WI. I am an avid home gardener and cook; partially because of the incredible influence this has had on me, I believe that one of the best ways to ensure a positive future for Wisconsin and the country is to educate kids about growing and preparing food, as well as living sustainably. I think the most important thing for us to develop is a good relationship with the environment around us—remembering to give back as much as we take.
Interning with Growing Food and Sustainability is proving to be a great opportunity to encourage this kind of lifestyle with youth in Middleton. My favorite part so far has been the kids asking “what are you doing, what is that?” and being able to show them some of the food they have growing in their “high school back yard.” I think one of the biggest problems with food systems in the US is that children aren’t exposed to “real” food more often, and just having this garden at Middleton High School is a huge step in the right direction. I am excited to share with them the processes of growing and preparing food, the planning involved, the work involved, and especially the satisfaction it brings. I am so happy to be supporting and working with Growing Food and Sustainability, and look forward to everything we are going to be able to accomplish together!