A Summer in Photos: Life at the Bailey GREENhouse

By Lindsay Mensch

Campus is a much different place in the summertime: far fewer people around, but far more things in bloom! I enjoyed the change of pace this summer, as I spent most of my time every week at the Bailey GREENhouse & Urban Farm as a summer manager. I learned so much about horticulture, organic farming, urban agriculture, and integrated pest management, but even more importantly, I learned that I have what it takes to be a successful farmer. Over the course of four months, I got a taste of what life after graduation might be like.

As I got better at nurturing the plants around me, I also got better at learning to nurture myself, especially when it comes to my mental health. While being around plants all day is definitely a mood boost, there is so much more that I’ve learned about taking care of my total wellbeing. Asking for help, acknowledging that I have needs that deserve to be met, and taking the time to just calm down and breathe have been important lessons I learned over these months.

While the summer was filled with all sorts of adventures and events, all sorts of ups and downs, I enjoyed many of the simpler times that I captured on camera most of all. Many of the positive highlights are featured below; I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them!

May 22

Grape vines early in the season.

June 1

Ingredients for the managers’ special tea blend.
Trapped in the backseat with some berry brambles we dug up at the SOF.

June 3

Evening primrose in the rain garden in full bloom.

June 9

Some of the delicious strawberry jam we made at Land Grant Goods’ food trailer!

June 19

A pride flag Mia and I made for Pride Month!

June 21

Shredding ripped plant material to make composting easier.

June 26

A sea of calendula – used for tea and as edible flowers!

July 3

Some very hot compost!


July 5

Some gorgeous red onions we cured.

July 10

So many eggplants, so little time.

July 13

Cleaning out the hoophouse.

July 18

Hiding in the compost.

July 21

Tomatillos on the roof of Bailey Hall.

August 3

Meeting Ron Hendrick, the Dean of CANR at MSU!

August 4

Mia holding some Thai hot chilies.

August 17

One of the last melons we produced in the hoophouse.

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