Meet Aleen in her NEW role!

Posted by on Feb 25, 2020 | Comments Off on Meet Aleen in her NEW role!

Meet Aleen in her NEW role!

1) Tell us about an early experience with gardens or nature.

We didn’t have a garden at my house growing up, but I was raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, so I was always having fun outdoors; my friends and I would explore on the trails between our neighborhood and our school for hours! Of course, I also had a special love for the Amish farms (doesn’t everyone LOVE the smell of manure?!?) and the oh-so-yummy ice cream we would get there.

2) How did you get involved in CSG?

My great friend Katie Reid Shevlin told me I had to hear about this organization that was working to put gardens in Charlottesville’s city schools…that I would LOVE it…and she was correct!

3) What’s your favorite part of being involved in CSG?

This organization has grown right alongside the plants in the garden and the students and community members who have made that happen for a decade. There are some very impressive numbers in regard to how many student interactions have taken place in the gardens and how the staff has worked to fund that growth. But the thing that makes me most proud of CSG is seeing students who first participated in elementary or middle school as they have continued at the high school level and beyond. There are students who have worked as summer interns and some who have become employees of CSG; that says so much about this organization.

4) What is your dream for CSG in the future?

For CSG specifically, my dream is that the Charlottesville community will invest heartily in the work we are doing to build a more equitable experience for students that includes opportunities in the garden and availability of healthy food. As a former teacher, I know very well that students need food in their bellies to learn and grow.

5) What are you excited about as a new staff member for CSG?

We are in the home stretch of becoming Cultivate Charlottesville which brings together CSG, Urban Agriculture Collective(UAC), and the Food Justice Network (FJN). I am so pumped for this next step toward a collaborative, equitable food system for our youth and community members.

6) If you were a fruit or vegetable, what kind would you be and why?

Broccoli makes me happy. And green is a good color—I could work with that.

We miss seeing our CSG students in the gardens, UACC friends at community markets, and CFJN partners in advocacy. Please know our hearts and minds are with you. We are working to provide coordination for emergency food assistance and to get the gardens robust and ready for your return. In solidarity -Jeanette, Megan, Aleen, Richard, Shantell, Jordan, Shannon, Mackenzie, Sarah, Tami, Yolonda, Leon, Michael, Rick & Peter

Ode From the Garden

It’s quieter now, less traffic, more bees;

more birds in the garden, more buds on the trees.

Our onions are nestled all snug in raised beds,

Along with potatoes like Kennebecs, and Reds.



Rain falling, birds calling, bugs crawling about,

A gardener keeps gardening when branches branch out.

The sound of Spring rising and cool morning dew,

But there’s one sound we’re missing, and that sound is you.



Ms Shannon, Ms Sarah, Misters Davis and Harden,

Ms Yolonda, Ms Mackenzie, Farmer Rich in the garden.

Don’t worry, we’ll be here when school starts again,

The CSG Gardeners and all of your friends.



Please stay in touch with us via facebook and instagram - especially for our exciting launch of Cultivate Charlottesville! You can also donate to support our CFJN emergency food assistance efforts.