The World According to Gunnar is a blog created by student researcher Gunnar Ward. This publication is updated weekly and aims to offer insight to the progress and growth of the Green Terror Garden. In addition, the blog is a reflection of thoughts and discoveries on student farming and other varied topics. Previous blogs can be found embedded in chronological order below the most recent post.
The Not so Grand Finale but the Grandest Journey
We all know the feeling. The feeling of getting so drawn into a show or a book that we just want it to keep going and going and never end. But then it does and the question emerges of well what’s next inevitably surfaces. I’m living that feeling as I type away at what may be the last blog post from the World According to Gunnar odyssey which has spanned over 15 entries documented in a little under a year. The title of this blog, particularly the first part in “The Not so Grand Finale” comes in the midst of the most devastating event of my lifetime in the COVID-19 pandemic. Granite, there is light starting to break through the end of the tunnel but it’s still a long way there. It’s unique writing a blog about gardening in the GTG and community building when there is none of that happening right now. Typing this, what may be the end of this chapter is the not so grand finale. Okay, I’m done being a downer. That’s not me. But just because it’s the not so grand finale doesn’t mean the journey of development has been not so grand, no, in fact it has been the best! I’ve written about that experience twice now actually so I feel like I’m starting to sound like a broken record of gratuity. Check out what I thought my parting statements would be here. A Summer that Changed my life , End Act I and Curtain Call
But now back to your regularly scheduled programming and part II of the title, “The Grandest Journey”. How else do I describe it as a life changing experience. Everything about it, this opportunity has led to learning that knows no limits and can be applied everywhere, in the garden, in the office and wherever the road is going to take me. All of it has helped me become a better person in countless ways! Last semester’s closing remarks was the curtain call on the show that is the GTG, well kinda… but just because the curtain closes doesn’t mean the show is over, the show never stops and always goes on! However, this semester felt like I was working behind the scenes in compiling the Green Terror Garden guide. I’m expecting the document to stretch over 30 pages and be a collection of everything I learned that will be passed down and built on by Green Terrors for years to come. Knowing that the guide will head into the final editing process is an accomplishment I take pride in because I wanted my legacy of my McDaniel career to be a handprint in the soil as much as a footstep on the Hill… and it’s coming together. And it’ll keep growing as more and more people add to it, or so I hope, but if not, it’s extremely satisfying to know that there may be someone that comes into this position like me with no previous experience and a whole lotta passion to learn. Now each person must have their own experience, but a little guidance and reassurance can go far and I’m grateful for all the people that have supported the GTG in so many different ways in this last year. I needed it more than once that’s for sure.
One of the biggest takeaways from this experience is the insight that I don’t think you really have an experience until you can reflect on it and apply it to your daily life. Here’s the thing, I’ve had so many lessons on life from gardening and drafting a guide that I could write a book about it, but the unique part about the GTG is that each person has their own experience. They overcome their own challenges and make their own discoveries, harvest their own crops, and chase off their own groundhogs. I have talked about my experiences through this blog over the last year, but no one is going to have the same exact experience and tap into the lessons like I did, but they will find it themselves and really that’s one of my favorite aspects about this learning experience. It’s never the same experience for anyone, but the lessons of gardening/farming to learn are inevitable for those that dedicate the time to dig them up. The entire process of gardening is a harvest, not just the actual act of harvesting. The GTG experience is a harvest of knowledge off of a tree of learning and how you pick that fruit… well that’s up to you, but for any advice I may have you can find it here:
Well friends, I think we have reached the end of the World According to Gunnar or at least until next time. Really there is only one thing left to do and that is to say thanks. So thanks, for everything. For it all! The Green Terrors and honorary Green Terrors make the garden just as much as the crops. In fact, you all are the cream of the crop!
Until next time!
Signed your ever grateful student of the Garden Game
Previous Publications in chronological order