by Abby Zaleski, Communications Student
Carol Enarson has been a volunteer at the Carolina Campus Community Garden (CCCG) for the last five years. A local community member, Carol heard about the Garden and wanted to see what it was all about at the first anniversary celebration in 2011. She learned that NCBG partners with CCCG to provide UNC-Chapel Hill staff with access to healthy food and acts as a learning community for developing gardening and other skills. Seeing the need for help, Enarson chose to dedicate time to the Garden on a regular basis.
After one short year of volunteering with the CCCG, Carol Enarson wanted to make a greater impact at the garden. She chose to take the Master Gardener course at the Orange County Extension Office in Hillsborough in order to expand her knowledge relating to horticulture. Enarson explained that by becoming an Orange County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer, her role at the CCCG has expanded to incorporating and providing education in addition to completing tasks at the garden.
One of her biggest accomplishments as a Master Gardener is the creation of her booklet entitled “Garden Snaps,” which features garden terms commonly used at the CCCG. Enarson says “each term encompasses a page in the booklet with one of the terms being presented to the group of volunteers in a quick five minute lesson prior to any given workday at the Garden.” This can be incredibly helpful for new volunteers, as well as anyone that may need to jog their memory on the subject of the task they would be focusing on that particular day.
Carol Enarson explained that volunteering at the garden allows her to help others, while at the same time continue to grow in her own knowledge of gardening and horticulture. Enarson loves coming to the Garden and meeting someone new each time that she volunteers, whether they be a student, UNC staff member or a member of the community like herself. She says that she truly enjoys “the educational aspect of teaching and doing research to find answers to present issues in the garden,” and volunteering at the CCCG is what provides her those opportunities.
Furthermore, when asked about what her favorite part about volunteering at the NCBG would be, Enarson expressed that it is having the chance to witness in full cycle all of the hard work and effort that is put in by everyone at the Garden. “From the donation of food scraps that go into our compost bins, to using the compost to fertilize the planting beds, to planting and then witnessing the week to week results as the plants grow, to harvesting the fabulous array of vegetables and fruits and then to finally filling the bins with fruits and vegetables for the weekly distribution to UNC workers,” Enarson explained. “The whole process is truly amazing and a very worthwhile effort. I feel that volunteering at the CCCG is a wonderful way to give back to the community.”