Hi all! For those of you I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting, my name is Jenna Molaro and I’ve been the garden intern for the past three months at Vivant Gardening Services and Montrose Metra Community Garden. The past three months…
The past three months have thrown me the biggest curve ball I’ve seen in my 22 years. I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in biology with minors in environmental science and bioethics from Loyola University Chicago, finishing my final semester online. Moving online due to the COVID-19 pandemic meant saying abrupt goodbyes to schoolmates and professors, and packing up to live in the suburbs. This shifted my duties as the garden intern from hands-on to more administrative and communicative. I had looked forward to working on clients’ gardens with Vivant and gardening with all of the members of the community garden. What I did end up getting experience with was not something anyone could have foreseen.
Although my time with the community garden and Vivant did not go as planned, I am so grateful to have been working with both a nonprofit and a small business at this time in history. I was able to observe and take part in the response to the curveball of COVID-19. Some of my duties over the season included securing a new compost provider since we lost our previous compost source due to the pandemic, drafting the garden’s new guidelines in light of COVID-19, and rescheduling events that were deemed unsafe. Needless to say, I learned how to adapt to unexpected situations and respond to challenges quickly.
I learned this in no small part due to the leadership and guidance of Kasey. It is no secret that the pandemic has been taking its toll on nonprofits and small businesses. Not once have I seen Kasey fall short in rising to this occasion. Although we have made many adaptations and changes to the way things are operating, Kasey has never allowed the integrity and professionalism of her business to be compromised. She has strived to make sure her clients have felt comfortable given the new social distancing guidelines we all have to navigate while ensuring services brought life to gardens, backyards, and proches. In her, I have observed resilience, innovation, and perseverance.
These are skills that will undoubtedly aid me as I enter the newly narrowed job market. All I can say is thank you so much to all those I have worked with and learned from throughout the past three months. :)
Kasey Eaves is the owner and founder of Vivant Gardening Services. When she is not in the dirt, she is traveling the world, learning how nature thrives in every space it finds.