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Spiders in the Garden

Twenty-seven soggy but still cheerful University of Richmond Law students, after working in the Community Kitchen Garden.

Twenty-seven soggy but still cheerful University of Richmond Law students, after working in the Community Kitchen Garden.

by Brian Vick, Communications Specialist, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

On Saturday we had the good fortune of engaging 27  University of Richmond School of Law students in the Community Kitchen Garden. The timing was perfect, as we are just beginning to transition out of summer mode and into the fall. We plant hundreds of Brassicaceae transplants — broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower — and many hands are welcome to do the bed preparations, planting and mulching. The weather cooperated — just barely — because although we experienced a steady but gentle sprinkle of rain for most of the morning, the heavier rain held off until about 30 minutes from the end of our session. The students thoroughly enjoyed their opportunity to meet their classmates, because most of these students are “L1″ (first-year), and have only recently arrived on campus.

The volunteer session was arranged by Tara Casey, Director of the University of Richmond Law’s Harry L. Carrico Center for Pro Bono Service, and led very effectively by third-year law student Miles Jolley. This is the second year Tara has sent students to the Community Kitchen Garden for community service. Thanks Tara!

The group of students included a couple of next-generation attorneys helping Mom in the Garden.

The group of students included a couple of next-generation attorneys helping Mom in the Garden.

John O’Malley, L’17, provided these comments: “At nine o’clock on an overcast Saturday morning, a parade of fresh faced law students arrived at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, eager to make a positive impact on the community that many of us had just joined. With Brian Vick of the Ginter staff directing us, we began the most natural process for a group of law students: Gardening. The morning began with laying out and planting rows of cauliflower and broccoli that, when harvested, will help feed hungry children, seniors, and families as part of the FeedMore program of Central Virginia. A short two hours later, soil had been turned over, tomatoes had been picked, and we had planted enough vegetables to contribute to over 800 meals for the needy in our community. And in doing so, we learned about ourselves, too. We learned that what we lack in skill, we make up for in enthusiasm. We learned that we should bring raincoats when we volunteer for an outdoor service project. But most of all, we learned that a gray Saturday morning spent in service to the community, if we take the time and we’re not too scared, can give us the opportunity to enjoy the butterflies around us that we rarely get to stop and see.”

The students carefully lay out the cauliflower transplants in double row beds.

The students carefully lay out the cauliflower transplants in double row beds.

The group en masse. Yep, that's a lot of bodies in the Garden in a small space, but they did a great job of traffic control (and foot placement). That's how we can accomplish 67 hours of work within a 2.5 hour window of opportunity.

The group en masse. Yep, that’s a lot of bodies in the Garden in a small space, but they did a great job of traffic control (and foot placement). That’s how we can accomplish 67 hours of work within a 2.5 hour window of opportunity.

UR law students planting cabbage

Students planted 75 cabbages in a new section of the CKG behind the Conservatory. Photo courtesy of University of Richmond.

One of the teams cleared out a row of 6-foot tall okra plants. Sad to see those architectural beauties go, but they certainly made a lovely statement in the Locbury section of the CKG this summer.

One of the teams cleared out a row of 6-foot tall okra plants. Sad to see those architectural beauties go, but they certainly made a lovely statement in the Locbury section of the CKG this summer.

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