By Sydney K and Vanessa L
Summer is the warmest season of the year in the northern hemisphere, lasting from June to August. Typically, summer is a time where people go to the beach and hang out by the pool, but it can be so much more than that. Trellis for Tomorrow is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to giving back to the community. Trellising, by definition, is to support a climbing plant with a trellis. This is one of the main things I learned to do this summer, while I took part in a program called Youth Seed Enterprise (YSE). The YSE program gives back to the community in the hopes that they will encourage others to do the same. The program has four locations, however the one we participated in was the Rolling Hills location in Pottstown. We trellised many tomato plants, making them grow to their full potential.
Overall, our experience in the program was nothing short of engaging. The days that we were onsite in the gardens were definitely exciting because we got to do hands-on work. We did things such as weed the beds, plant new vegetables, and harvest produce to give out to the community. Learning how to use a stirrup hoe, trellis tomatoes, and cover beds was fun. On the afternoon Zoom calls, we talked in a large group about informative world topics like the the foods we eat, inequality in schools, personal wellness, and more. Learning about emotional intelligence, apologizing, and transformative justice with Trellis has helped us to be more socially aware.
Helping those in the community and giving back is what the Youth Seed Enterprise is all about. The YSE program helps to support food justice by producing and distributing over 8,000 pounds of produce. There has been so much to learn and do in this program, that made our experience so amazing.
What started as an eight-week program became something we would never forget. We did not know exactly what we would be doing, but we soon found out it would teach us so much. From working in the gardens and distributing produce to people in the neighborhood to the daily Zoom meetings, we learned so many skills both in and out of the garden. We met new and interesting people. Many takeaways of this program will be with us throughout life. Overall, this program made us look at the broader things in life and how much we can do for others and the world. This program opened our eyes to new ways to go about life and inspired us to be more open-minded.