GEP blog guest post: Tova

August 15, 2013

Author: Neighborhood Farm Initiative

Category: General News Stories from the Garden

There are only a few classes left in the 2013 Garden Education Program with NFI at the Mamie D. Lee community garden, and the plots of many of my classmates and I are in the peak of harvest. Its hard to believe that our formal, instructional time together will be over in just a few weeks!

In posts in the coming weeks, I hope to feature reflections from some of the other members of the class. This week’s reflection and comes from Tova Handelman:

Tova and her friend, Mike who has been helping in the garden some weekends, high five-ing in between the crop rows because they are so pumped up that things are growing.

My experience so far has been wonderful. I love the vibe at NFI; everyone is so kind and genuinely excited for another person when his or her crops are doing well.

Joe has been an excellent teacher and has provided us with the perfect amount of hands-on guidance as well as a laid back approach to allow us to do some work and investigations ourselves.


Tova and Mike with instructor Joe, the “all-knowing and wonderful,” as Tova says.

One thing that has been surprising to me is that there are so many factors — weather, water, pests, disease, soil, space, etc. — that can cause trouble in a garden. It is astonishing to me that anything makes it out alive at all!

Growing my own food this summer and experiencing the hard labor, waiting, time, effort, and more that goes into just a tiny 12×12 ft  plot gives me a whole new appreciation for farmers.

The bountiful harvest Tova brought home one weekend.

Jenn Svetlik is a member of NFI’s Garden Education Program for the 2013 season. She’ll be reflecting on the experience throughout the summer.

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