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UO lends helping hand at Food for Lane County Gardens
Courtesy: GoDucks.com
Release Date: 05/13/2014
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Ducks Give Back: Part 2; The University of Oregon women’s soccer team will be performing three community service events this spring. On Saturday, May 3, the Ducks volunteered at Food for Lane County Gardens. Below, freshman goalkeeper Lauren Holden catalogs her team’s community service efforts in the second piece of a three-part series to goducks.com. Holden is a native of San Ramon, Calif., who made her Duck debut against Oregon State in last season’s finale. To read the first article in this three-part series, click here.


By Lauren Holden
Freshman, Oregon women’s soccer

Recently, our soccer team traveled to Food for Lane County Gardens for our second community service project of the spring. Once we were there, we were put to a series of tasks to help improve the area for future projects, like lifting used conveyor belts, moving leaves for compost and organizing tomato cages. Everyone worked together with each project and got the job done.

Our first job as a team was clearing space to put conveyor belts by moving tomatoes cages. We had one group of people lift the cages, and another organizing the cages by stacking them in rows to make them more accessible. We moved the cages together, which made the process quicker than it would have been if the employees moved them by themselves.  We left a big, open space for a conveyor belt to be laid out.

Moving the conveyor belt was harder than any of our team thought it would be. These used conveyor belts are used to protect the plants, fruits and vegetables from weeds or any other unwanted plants. We moved the heaviest one to the space where we moved the tomato cages. Using metal rods, communication and strength, our team worked through different obstacles that we faced to get the conveyor belt in the right place. It was a challenge laying it out over the open space, but we shifted it until it fit perfectly. After it was placed in the proper position, we put the tomato cages back to where they were before. We placed other used conveyor belts in various spots around the beautiful garden. Although occasional rain made the tasks challenging, we worked through it and got the conveyor belts in the proper places.

Once all the conveyor belts were moved, we started a new project that involved wheel barrowing leaves that were collected on the sides of streets to a corner of the garden where the leaves were used to improve the soil. This organic way of gardening is one of the many ways Food for Lane County Garden reuses resources from the Earth. One group from our team transferred the leaves from a big pile to wheelbarrows by using pitchforks. The other group took the wheelbarrows and wheeled the leaves to the spot in the garden where they surrounded the soil with the leaves.

This experience brought our team much closer, and even though it was tough at first, we pushed through learned so much in the end. The work our team did cut down the time that it would have taken a number of employees to do, and made us realize what people do every day to provide us with the food that we need. It was a great way to give back to our community and made us grateful for the service their staff provides. Our team appreciates Food for Lane County Gardens; both for allowing us to work with them, and for what they do for our community. 

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