“…This involved me working outside with students, the school community and local business mentors to establish new organic growing spaces, and empowering the students to plan, build, plant, tend, harvest and ultimately sell their produce…”
When did you start working for LtL and what does your job involve?
I started working for LtL in September 2015.
I began working for LtL developing and delivering a sustainable school ground growing scheme in London called Enterprise Growing Gardens. This involved me working outside with students, the school community and local business mentors to establish new organic growing spaces, and empowering the students to plan, build, plant, tend, harvest and ultimately sell their produce or value added projects to support the garden in the following growing season. The students and teaching staff I worked with then became mentors to the next group of EGG Ambassadors. More recently I have been providing writing and research support for various LtL projects.
The 3 experiences that have best equipped you for this role?
Developing and delivering programming at a community garden in London. I still find it amazing that a seed will grow into a plant given the right environmental conditions. Witnessing that amazement in others has helped me appreciate the value of incorporating opportunities to experience wonder in everything we do.
Growing up in the outdoors of British Columbia. Spending a lot of time outside exploring during my childhood and youth fostered my love of ecology and the complexities of our natural environment.
Erika’s LtL Experience
What has been your best day at LtL and why?
When you have the privilege of working with children building and growing there are many good days. One of my best days would have to be hearing from staff at one setting about the differences they had been noticing in one of the youth participating in the programme. He had transformed from a disengaged and disruptive student to one that was organising the watering rota and responsible for encouraging his peers to make posters promoting the garden they had built together. It was wonderful to witness the course of his school life, and the opportunities now available to him, improve through the simple act of gardening.
Why a pair of walking boots?
These boots have been around the world and I wear them daily. I believe the greatest gift we can give children is the experience of learning in an outdoor setting, but it is a gift that you cannot enjoy if you are not comfortable. And comfort starts from the ground up, a lot like growing plants.