This year at PICA has been wonderful so far. It is quite an amazing experience to have such a connected community within the PICA residents. Within the first two weeks of moving in, our nights were already filled with music circles and uproarious laughter! This merriment is still evident among us PICA’ns especially during one of our popular community meals nights (or what I like to call “family meal night”). We have also quickly discovered how wonderful it is to have such an edenic garden as our own backyard. PICA students found delight in wandering through the Foundational Roots Garden with the open opportunity to pick from the seasonal abundance of juicy apples and sweet ruby raspberries.
To top it all off, the whole PICA crew went on a camping trip to Big Basin in the beginning of the quarter and it was quite a hoot! Although we only spent one night there, we packed in setting up, eating, fireside storytelling, smores, and an epic ten-mile hike at 5 in the morning all in two days! Many thanks to Mira Michelle and Bethany Hecht for making it all happen!
The first Saturday Workday was amazing. The day was colored by an abundance of students, food and garden fun! There was quite a turnout of people, and we exceeded what we had expected to accomplish in the garden and propagation area! Since then, we knew we had to double dig as many beds as we could before the early rains came, and over the first several weeks we finished just in time! It was a challenge to start off the year with part of our leadership team missing, but thankfully we recently recruited our compost coordinator (Kai Lewis), Saturday workday meals coordinator (Loren), weekday meals coordinator (Forrest Verde-Green), and events coordinator(Lydia) to complete our crew.
The PICA garden is not just about performing tasks in order to augment and beautify the garden, it is there both as a learning tool and as a means to strengthen our community.
Be it on the Saturday Workday or the Thursday Seminar, there is a certain kind of unexplainable magic about sitting with three other people, planting collard starts, or turning a warm pile of compost with the crimson sunset beside us,and a hot delicious meal awaiting us. Most importantly, the magic is in establishing meaningful connections with each other through our collective learning, our common college experience, and our common human experience. The Sustainable Living Center provides a space for this magic to exist in abundance, and I am forever grateful to be a part of such a program.
Sheila Coll is PICA’s Propagation Coordinator extraordinaire and a Leadership Team member