This year, we are all going to see through some of our gardeners’ eyes! For four weeks our site gardeners will “take over” ESYNOLA social media, giving us a first-hand view of what it looks and feels like to spend time in each of our school gardens. With each #gardenertakeover, we hope to illuminate joyful moments, gorgeous details, hard work, and multifaceted connections made by our gardeners!

Marsha Bard, site gardener and greenhouse manager at Arthur Ashe Charter School, launched the series with some playful pictures showing us her life in the Ashe garden. She began with a self-portrait re-creation of the American Gothic. Love the overalls, Marsha!

“After some hard work turning over the beds after #sweetpotatofest, I have to stop and wonder, ‘Am I the American Gothic?’” 

Marsha wrote a multiple gratitude posts just in time for Thanksgiving about volunteers. Marsha has worked with hundreds of volunteers during her time with ESYNOLA, and knows that volunteers are essential to the success of our school gardens. (Marsha has also logged over 4,000 hours of service over the course of her life, so she is no stranger to service!)

Marsha also gave us a peek at the many flowers that attract birds, bees, and butterflies to the Ashe garden, and how she saves seeds from the garden to propagate in the greenhouse. An ESYNOLA employee since 2013, Marsha has taken on a variety of roles, but she says that Greenhouse Manager is her favorite. She is a vital member of our garden team, and a source of horticultural knowledge for our staff and community.

Thank you, Marsha, for helping us debut our #gardenertakeover series with your signature hilarity and sincerity. We can’t wait to see what comes of all the seeds you have saved! 

“The last of the summer flowers at Ashe. See you next year, Cosmos!”
“Aurien is one of the best volunteers I have ever worked with (and I have worked with hundreds!) I am grateful that such a fun, interesting, thoughtful woman has come into my life. I will remember your warm spirit for years to come. Thank you, Aurien for your dedicated work!“
“Volunteers Dylan, Sophia and Lily planting cool season flowers and herbs at #FLSAshe. These guys are awesome! ESYNOLA not only teaches @Firstlineschools students, but also the surrounding community through service opportunities.”
“Hello Butterflies! Do we have snacks for you! Mexican Flame Vine and Cosmos. Don’t they make a cute couple?”
“Sowing the seeds of love! This employee-owned seed company that donates so much to us every year is from my hometown, Winslow, Maine! So proud to root my Maine seeds in New Orleans!”