Monday, May 27, 2013

Grace has its moments.*

Ginkgo has an electronic calendar by which we schedule visits by volunteer groups to our Saturday workdays. Dave manages the calendar, listening for emails sent to our web site.

It would probably be beneficial for those of us who run the workdays if we consulted this electronic calendar at least once before opening the gates to the garden. Unfortunately, by the time I remember that we have a schedule, I'm already clad in Carhartt and antipathetic to all things internet. (The bib pockets are too small for smartphones, in any case.)

May 4 started with me standing next to a raised bed and scratching my head, wondering what we were going to do on that day. I noticed a group of identically-garbed people approaching the front gate. As the group smiled and waved, I suddenly realized that it was the 2013 Vincentian Day of Service, and that I had to think quickly of a whole lot of things for a whole lot people to do.

For at least the last three years, Ginkgo has been one of the many beneficiaries of DePaul University's spring Vincentian Day of Service. In this semi-annual juggernaut of goodwill, teams of students spread out around Chicago, volunteering for a morning before heading out to a peace rally. We have always had a very good experience with the students who volunteer with us: they are focused, energetic, prepared to work, and exceedingly polite.  (They even write us thank-you notes, when it should really be us thanking them.)

On May 4, our group of students sifted compost, weeded beds, and planted spinach, lettuce, and peas. They worked their way through all of the tasks that we could think of. Our garden was the better for their volunteering.

*St. Vincent de Paul. Correspondence, Conferences, Documents II (January 1640 - July 1646)
 p. 499.