In the Middle of it All

By: Katie Clements
Location: Middleton, WI

Growing Food and Sustainability has now reached it’s halfway point this summer, and I could not be prouder. The interns have grown closer and found work rhythms together, the kids are already giddy about coming back for the next session of garden camp (and as are we to receive them), and we are beginning to plan our upcoming community events including a benefit dinner and harvest festival. There have been major construction team accomplishments, and the garden is looking beautiful. While it seems strange to see the chard get harvested and watch the radish bed lay dormant, it is after all the middle of July. It seems about time for these things to happen, and we can simply look on our accomplishments, savoring our hard work and our harvest.

DSCF1318This coming week feels ripe for reflection. What went well during this session of camp? What perhaps could have been improved? After each day at camp, we ask the kids “What did you like today?” or play a game called “Rose, bud, thorn.” We ask the kids to tell us a “rose” (something that went well), a “bud” (something they’re looking forward to), and a “thorn” (something that did not go so well) at the end of each day at camp. Some kids have wanted camp to go longer, and that was their thorn. A common rose has been the bike ride to pick up compost, and a common bud was getting to harvest more delicious veggies.

One of my favourite things to do in my life is to understand the relationships between past, present, and future, especially while making life improvements or honestly reflecting on my shortcomings. As a secret introvert, this is one of my favourite things to do, and what better game to play than Rose, Bud, Thorn? The middle, the in-between and interim, is the perfect time for that game. It is the moment where we can sit down and think the thoughts that need to be thought, and it will only last for this week at Growing Food and Sustainability. We will have time in the garden, with each other, without camp, to think about camp. After that week is over, we are back at the races, planning activities, making snacks with the kids, and engaging our community members with the work of growing food. It has all been good, and can only get better, especially if we enjoy those silences and take the time in ourselves to reflect.


“We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the secret sits in the middle and knows.”
-Robert Frost

1_6Author: Katie Clements is an intern for Growing Food and Sustainability and has been involved from the beginning, in the spring of 2012. She is an Edgewood College Student, studying Pre-Nursing and Ethnic Studies, and she sure loves to garden.

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