As a transfer student in my first semester, I applied to be a part of the UMass Permaculture Garden Crew in hopes of establishing a community of like-minded individuals in this enormous campus that was so new to me, and community was what I got. As the garden grew, we grew, and the Monday/Friday crew of five students from varying majors and grade levels became a small family; our own niche so to speak, one that really enjoyed each other’s company and a good potluck here and there.
From zone walks, to discussions on wild edibles, to seed saving, and so much more, every lesson our Garden Manager Lilly Israel implemented was captivating and empowering, providing us with not only a well-rounded permaculture education, but also valuable skills that promote sustainability in everyday life. In addition to these lessons, we were given the opportunity to participate in a number of events related to permaculture throughout the semester, from a Massachusetts Dinner with government representation to a Montessori School scavenger hunt with kindergarteners. The culmination of these made being a part of Garden Crew a truly worthwhile commitment.