By Layani B

“What are your plans for the summer”? While other kids my age decided to spend their summers on their phones or watching TV, I decided to go out into the gardens and get my hands dirty! During my time at the Youth Seed Enterprise Program (YSE), I learned about issues including environmental racism, personal wellness, and more.

On the first day in the Rolling Hills garden, we started pulling weeds and clearing up the beds. At our garden, there were tons of weeds that loved to grow, so, throughout the whole summer that was one thing we had to constantly take care of. Although some people may not like pulling weeds, I enjoyed it. It was therapeutic for me. Along with pulling weeds, I enjoyed harvesting carrots, cabbages, and potatoes among all of the vegetables we grew and distributed.

Wednesdays were our harvest days, where we would harvest all the vegetables that were ready to be picked and distribute them to people who had signed up to receive fresh produce weekly. The first week of distribution was nerve-racking because I didn’t know if people would answer the door, and worried that I would mess up my pitch. Luckily as the weeks went by, I overcame my nerves and even got better at my pitch!

I also liked our daily afternoon Zoom meeting meetings because people from all four gardens would join and have conversations about things like how important it is to take care of yourself. One specific piece of advice I was given was to look for purposes. I valued these conversations, and I will use the advice for the rest of my life.

During my summer with Trellis, I learned more than I thought I would. When I first joined, I thought the program would be a short gardening program where I could make some money. However, as I kept participating and meeting new people, I noticed that Trellis isn’t just a “quick summer job”. It’s a community. If I had to rate my overall experience, I would give it a 10/10. I 100% recommended anyone to be a part of the Youth Seed Enterprise program.