Meet Michelle and Marie, the gardeners extraordinaire!
Last week I put my clock at 6am to document what those two lovely ladies have been creating for the past year. I met them while covering an event for PBS and I thought their story was so interesting that I wanted for them to be on the blog.
Here is how it all started in Michelle’s words.
“When Thomas Jefferson imagined his ideal Academical Village, he emphasized the importance of agriculture in higher education. Jefferson used his gardens as a living laboratory at Monticello, where he experimented with 330 different vegetables and 170 fruit varieties. Over 200 years later, Jefferson’s values of agriculture are being reexamined at Morven Farm. In 2001, philanthropist John W. Kluge gave this 7,379-acres to the University of Virginia Foundation for educational and charitable purposes.
Last October, a group of aspiring young agrarian UVA students set their sights on a one-acre plot which was once organically cultivated for John Kluge, and began developing plans for an educational Kitchen Garden. For students and community members who want to learn where their food comes from on a real-world scale, the Morven Kitchen Garden presents an opportunity for leaning by DOING.
This summer, the garden is managed by recent UVA graduate, Michelle Rehme, UVA ’08 grad Marie Schacht, and two amazing UVA student apprentices: Judith Yang and Rowan Sprague. Along with helpful volunteers and visitors, these ladies have turned field once filled with weeds and trees into a productive garden – which is now bustling with all sorts of veggies, herbs, and flowers. The majority of the produce goes straight back to UVA students – through a unique student CSA program in which students sign up and get a weekly box of produce.
Or even better, come out for an early morning and get your hands dirty in the garden!”
If you are bored this summer, pay them a visit. They would love your help and it is so peaceful int he morning.