by Julia St.Clair, BTLT Agricultural Programs Coordinator
As the Tom Settlemire Community Garden (TSCG) is wrapping up the 2022 growing season, we would like to take this opportunity to give a huge shout out to our summer Environmental Studies Fellow from Bowdoin College, Jane Olsen!
Jane dug in right away, coming to the Garden with little gardening experience, but quickly learning while working alongside other gardeners in the TSCG community. Jane even had the chance to tend her own plot at TSCG, successfully growing leeks, carrots, herbs, and a seemingly endless bounty of tomatoes! Jane brought her passion for building community and love for the outdoors to TSCG.
Over the summer, Jane worked alongside volunteers in the Common Good Garden, supporting and leading weekly workdays. She also joined the volunteer team supporting the New Mainers garden at TSCG, adding an extra set of hands to support this ambitious project. Additionally, Jane spent the summer researching and chatting with local experts about orchard care, drafting up an orchard care and maintenance plan for the TSCG orchard and learning more about the history of how these blueberry bushes, peach trees, and apple trees came to grow at TSCG.
As an avid writer, Jane tackled a personal project while working at TSCG: interviewing and profiling a handful of TSCG plot holders from new to longtime gardeners. Her articles tell the stories of garden community members and offer the advice they shared for interested gardeners. These stories put faces to some of the many plots in the garden, reminding us just how many hands go into growing TSCG. In these articles Jane also highlights many of the different growing styles and gardening knowledge backgrounds that TSCG gardeners bring to the space. You can check out her articles on the BTLT blog.
Collaborating with a Bowdoin Fellow from Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program, Liliana, and BTLT intern Cora, Jane worked to plan and host a successful volunteer appreciation event at the Garden. The event included live music, treats from Wild Oats and Mere Point Oyster Co, and a raffle for volunteers. Jane also returned this fall to volunteer in the Common Good Garden and helped host the Garden’s annual-ish ‘Plot Luck’ event with members from across the garden community.
We are so grateful to have had Jane join us this past summer and we hope that she will continue to expand her gardening knowledge. We wish her the best of luck with her continued studies at Bowdoin and hope that she will come back to visit us at TSCG often!