December 5th, 2019

Meet Joi-Lindsey Garrett and Zee Wilson. Joi joined our team in the Fall of 2016 as the Instructor at Henry J. Oliver Elementary School. Zee was in our first class of interns at Woodlawn High School during the 2016-2017 school year, and joined as Teaching Farm Apprentice in the Summer of 2018. Joi strives to build strong, meaningful relationships with the teachers and loves culinary lessons and seeing students get excited to cook and learn about Math, Science, and ELA. Zee enjoys teaching practical farm skills, “it’s a way to get kids outside and have them use some energy….it’s good when you find students who really enjoy it.”

What are two goals that you have for this school year?

Joi: The past two years we have put a lot of focus on creating new beds and building soil in the field. This year I would like to focus on the mound and figuring out ways to get more flowers on it. 2) We have a lot of new teachers at Oliver and I would like to build strong and meaningful relationships with them. It’s a good opportunity to strengthen the partnership within Oliver and help teachers feel ownership of the farm space.  

Zee: To have the farm in a well maintained and aesthetically pleasing spot for the year. I’d also love to improve our harvest yield.

Is there a unique crop that you plan to grow this year? What is it and why is it exciting?

J: Dandelion Greens! I have been learning more about weeds and how most of the plants we see as weeds are actually herbs that have a lot of medicinal benefits. So, I’m excited to start that conversation with students at Oliver. 

Z: I’d like to try carrots again. They didn’t do well in the winter due to me not thinning enough. Hopefully I can do better this upcoming season.

What makes your Teaching Farm unique?

J: In ground beds! We are the only elementary school site with them. I love that our students get to dig in the ground and see what their school’s land can produce. 

Z: We’re the one school site besides WHS that has in ground beds. Some see it as a disadvantage but I see it as normal.

What is your favorite farm task?

J: As tedious as it is and as much as I hate to admit it…weeding! I love how it is a task that you see an immediate result with. It makes the farm more inviting and the space even more beautiful. Plus, I can put on a good playlist and get lost in the task. I love to listen to “Cleaning Kit” playlist on spotify.

Z: Scuffle hoeing and laying cardboard and mulching is cool. During the farm shuffle we found some incredible soil where we’d been mulching and threw it on the beds. Super excited!

What is your favorite season? What is your favorite seasoning?

J: Although it gets extremely hot may favorite vegetables and fruits grow in the summer. My favorite seasoning is literally any herb, they make vegetables taste so much better!

Z: Fall. Not a seasoning but Garlic. Powder, salt, clove. Whatever form it’s in I love it.

What is something you learned while developing lessons that you didn’t know before?

J: A few years ago I learned that wasps lay their eggs inside of figs. I like to tell students that after they have tried them 🙂 

Z: It’s a lot of work. It make me appreciate the work my teachers did while I was in school.