The Summer in Retrospect

While most Princeton students are not around to take care of the garden during it’s most productive season, our two summer-interns — Soon Il Higashino and Ariel Chen — did an incredible job following up on the hard work put in last spring. In between the other activities and internships they were participating in on campus, Soon il and Ariel watered, weeded, and harvested the garden’s plants. Thanks to their dedication and green thumbs, the PGP team returned to a beautiful, flourishing garden this September. To learn more about their experience, check out Soon il’s reflection:

My name is Soon il Higashino, and I’m currently a sophomore in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department. I spent this past summer on campus, working mainly at the Forbes Garden as a summer intern under the Office of Sustainability. Working in the garden was a fantastic experience: I’ve always loved garden work and being in the outdoors, but never had many opportunities to work in one garden consistently and over a substantial period of time.

On a typical day, I’d wake up early in the morning around 6:30 to get some work done in the garden while it was still cool outside. The main things I did in the garden include weeding – weeding in and around beds to make sure weeds wouldn’t interfere with the growth of the veggies in the beds. When it was very dry and hot, which was pretty often this summer, I would water the plants in the evening so that the water wouldn’t evaporate as quickly as if we watered during the day. I learned about harvesting vegetables; being able to tell when they were ready to be harvested and what approach was the best way to harvest each type of vegetable.

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Ariel Chen weeding in the garden

Through this internship, I was able to learn how to take care of various vegetables, what kinds of conditions help promote the most efficient growth for different plants, and about all kinds of wildlife that I saw living near the garden. For me, this was a wonderful opportunity to learn many new things about plants and vegetables while working in the peacefulness and beauty of nature. The Forbes Garden is really a great place if you’re looking for a quiet, calming environment, which can sometimes be hard to find on campus. Being able to work in the garden this summer gave me some hands-on experience in organic gardening, and has helped expand my interest in sustainable agriculture and environmental sustainability with regards to our food consumption.