I am a senior at Saint Joseph High School in South Bend. For the past 4 summers I have volunteered at Unity Gardens. I am personally passionate about both sustainability and healthy eating, both which are encompassed in Unity Gardens. This summer I would like to grow in my knowledge of the garden while also helping to grow healthy food and a stronger South Bend community.
Hi, I’m Caroline! I'm a South Bend native though I attend school in the frozen tundra of Minnesota at Carleton College. My areas of interest include environmental science with a focus on sustainable community development and food justice. I love learning about and eating plants, fruits, and vegetables of all types and I believe everyone should have access to fresh, local, healthy food. Outside gardening, I love playing the piano and guitar, running, and baking. This is my second year working for Unity Gardens and this year I'm taking on the role of an advanced intern. I will be supporting other garden leaders who may struggle with natural gardening methods and other challenges. My favorite part of working with Unity Gardens is meeting people that come to the garden and eating all the berries!
When I tell people my name is Daisy, they are surprised to find out that I am the daughter of Polish immigrants—I’m fluent in the language and completely indulged in the culture. When I tell them I am 20 and my brother is 21, they’re shocked to learn I also have a 2 year old sister that I often have to act like a second mother to. When people question what I like to involve myself in— Ultimate Frisbee, academics, work, volunteering at my church—they wonder how I still have time to socialize with my friends. But when I tell people I am double majoring in physics and electrical engineering, some might ask: then why Unity Gardens? Well, the answer is because Unity Gardens makes a difference. In the last year, I’ve had a consistent desire to help people or to do something that can truly cause a change for the better. My social justice course at Saint Mary’s introduced me to Unity Gardens and its mission, and I fell in love. I wanted to be a piece of the progress. I didn’t want a job for myself because I knew that I would get bored of it—but if I got a job for someone or something bigger than myself, I knew I could do the work while driven by passion. I have immense respect for all that Unity Gardens does in the community, and I want to continue making the difference that everyone at Unity Gardens has made possible
Olivia Downey recently graduated from John Adams High School, and is choosing to intern with Unity Gardens to invest her time in a place that truly makes a difference. Not only will she interact and learn from the members of the local community, she will also expand her knowledge of how food is grown and what is takes to maintain a free-pick space. Olivia will attend Purdue University in the fall, with a major in Sustainable Food and Farming Systems. She hopes to become an environmental planner or naturalist.
Hi, my name is Margo, and I am a junior at Trinity School at Greenlawn. I was born and raised in the South Bend area and have always enjoyed living a town marked with urban culture and diverse great restaurants but also surrounded by cornfields and farms. Seeing Unity Gardens flourish in these two different folds of Saint Joseph County is inspiring and beautiful. But really as I continue to work at the garden I am realizing this non-profit is more about Unity than it is about Gardens. And I am beginning to see their interconnectedness. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday we spend our mornings around a table preparing food for the farmers market. This is the harvest. This is our time to catch up as we exchange stories and laughs during the rinsing and packaging process. We are not gathered here because we share a common race, gender, economic status, or even interest. What we are standing around and what we are here for is food--something we all need, no matter who we are. I am starting to see how the Garden rinses us clean of factors that limit our tendency to be United. The Garden connects us by seeing our common human need and meeting it, and it makes us United somewhere along the stretch of the arm out to grab the same apple.
Taylor Waldron is a recent graduate of John Adams High School and will be attending IU South Bend this fall. In college, Taylor plans to dual major in New Media and Journalism. Her favorite thing in the world is music and with her degree, she plans to work for a major music media platform. She wants to interview musicians and write about the way their music can impact a greater audience, spreading a universal connection. For Taylor, music is one of the most wonderful ways to bring people, communities, and the world together. This summer, choosing to intern at Unity Gardens was made possible by the Community Foundation. In the spring, Taylor received the Laidig Service Scholarship through the Community Foundation which allows for the student to intern somewhere each summer for 300 hours. Taylor says that the Unity Gardens was her “first choice”. She chose to work at Unity for one simple reason: to get outside of her comfort zone. “I really wanted to try something new and do something that would benefit a group that is greater than myself. I wanted to know that the work I was doing was really helping people and that’s so easy to see here at the garden”, said Taylor. “I’m really excited to be working here this summer and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead”.
Kayla I have never been this dirty,” was my initial thought after my first day at the Unity Gardens. I wasn’t upset, I was actually happy about my uncleanliness. Why? Well because I wanted to be challenged. Being dirty was challenging? No. Not being able to control everything was my challenge. I wasn’t able to control the elements and make gardening any easier or faster. I had to take each day as it came. Every morning I went to the gardens without any idea of what I was going to do that day. At first I was anxious about that fact, but by the end of the summer, I loved the surprises. Through my internship at the Unity Gardens I realized that I don’t always have to be organized and controlling. I learned patience and to ask questions about something I didn’t know. I grasped the concept of going with the flow. I don’t think I would have learned this anywhere else. I am forever grateful for the time I spent at the Unity Gardens. It was a life changing experience. I will return as much as possible, because the garden is now apart of me.
Joanna Hi my name is Joanna Madias and I am a graduate student concentrating in policy analysis and economic development with an interest in food policy. My summer internship with Unity Gardens was a rewarding experience and perfectly aligned with my education and career goals. I enjoyed working in the garden, building relationships with community members visiting the garden, and learning how to grow and harvest produce. One of my favorite days working in the garden was interacting with a family harvesting Purslane. I usually pulled Purslane out of the garden because it is a weed, but I learned that the family loves to cook with it! The most important knowledge and understanding I gained through my internship with Unity Gardens was the insight of how a non-profit organization provides essential resources to improve a community’s well-being. I would recommend this internship to anyone who is willing to work hard and has a passion for public service.
Bryce At the Unity Gardens this summer, I was extremely involved in many aspects of the organization. Throughout the internship, I participated in many different gardening activities including mounding, weeding, pruning, mulching, planting, and harvesting. Outside of those obligations, I also was able to build relationships with those in our community by conversing and helping visitors in the Garden Guide program, attending the weekly picnic, and working in our two week Garden Camp with many elementary age children. I also was able to meet and work with volunteers from many different backgrounds including retirees, students, and churches. Finally, I led a project for the purpose of building a much needed greenhouse. I highly recommend this challenging, yet rewarding internship to anyone. Even if gardening is not your forte, there is so much more to the internship that allows you to grow as an individual.
Mailing Address Main Garden Unity Gardens LaSalle Square PO Box 10022 3701 Prast Blvd South Bend IN. 46680 South Bend IN 46628