This week was New Student Orientation week. At the end of the week the 1000 new freshmen were sent to 94 locations around the Marion area to do volunteer work and learn about the city they will be living in for the next 4 years or so. 20 students were assigned to our Alliance Gardens where Hannah Combs and Josh Ruiz led them in weeding, mulching, and harvesting while 11 came with me to Victory Acres to do similar things. This was a really cool experience I think as it lets the students see where they could help out and give back to the community. As a graduate of IWU I would have loved this, and I think that I would have been more involved earlier then I was. This also let us promote the Alliance Gardens as students saw that we grew crops right here on campus, we have a stand where they can buy things, and that they can volunteer or try for the internship in the years to come.
This week we made a lot of salsa. Like way more then we probably should have since it is difficult to sell while still keeping it fresh. We did however make more this week then we have ever before so that is very promising. It has allowed us to reach more people that would not buy vegetables because they do not like them, have no where to prepare them, or are just too busy. A can of salsa is easy to carry, will be eaten, and is already prepared. Another reason we did so well is that our cantaloupes and watermelons are becoming ready to be eaten! These are some seriously big watermelons and will continue to be delicious. Notes: We will be at the Taste of Marion this Friday so if you cannot stop at our table on Thursday please do on Friday.The squash bugs are terrible and I would love volunteers to come and just pick and squish them!If you bought salsa or have been given it as a gift bring back the container and we can make you more. This way it is more sustainable then buying brand new jars every time and you can get more salsa!