After a month and a half organizing the GreenThumb and Grow to Learn garden databases, I finally made my first field trip to the GreenThumb compound in Long Island City. Located at 10th street and Queens Plaza South, the compound is located directly under the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge that connects Long Island City to Midtown Manhattan.
While my time in the office has made me more proficient with Microsoft Excel and Access, I have been itching to spend time in community gardens themselves. A huge reason why I applied to the GreenThumb internship position was due to the balance of office and field work. I wanted to be able to experience drastically different work experiences and was thrilled to take a break from 100 Gold Street.
This past Tuesday, I spent the morning at the compound with three coworkers as we organized the supplies that would be delivered to various community gardens that same afternoon. The gardens we focused on were all part of the Youth Leadership Council, the group that emphasized community service among high school students within the community gardens. GreenThumb is responsible for providing said gardens with supplies ranging from plywood for construction projects to gardening tools. Much of our morning comprised of us sorting through 6 large shipping containers, checking each item off the list and loading it to the truck.
Since the garden receiving the delivery planned on building new raised beds, we were required to sort and cut the lumber to the gardener’s instructions. I used a power saw for the first time as we marked wooden planks ranging from 2″x2″ cedar planks to 8″x8″ plywood squares. Surprisingly, I was not horrible at using the power saw, something I had expected from my level of coordination.
Although I did not go to the actual garden to make the delivery, I was glad to participate in something that would directly benefit community gardens in a visible way. The undeveloped LIC combined with the continuous sounds of overhead cars on the highway provided a stark contrast to the usual quiet and temperature controlled government office. I also have a new found appreciation for the operations team who work just as hard, if not harder, in the humid, 90 degree weather to make sure all the gardens are well stocked. I am looking forward to my next day at the compound where I’ll hopefully make a delivery and visit a GreenThumb community garden.