3/25/2015- Mrs. Jeanette’s House by Taylor

Today we went to do painting and garden work at Mrs. Jeanette’s house. Mrs. Jeanette gives back to her community in a huge way by making community gardens to teach people to grow some of their own produce to cut down on their food costs and live a healthier life style. She has 4 gardens in total 3 of which are in New Orleans and 1 in Mississippi where she has a second home. While at Mrs. Jeanette’s we stripped the old paint off the walls and railings and applied new paint. Some of the paint you could follow down to the original paint that the house first had. Then I stopped painted and became interested in the second project that was happening on the porch. She was having student clean bay leaves as a gift to some of the chefs in New Orleans who donated their time to help a local school with a fundraising event and also with helping students with the edible farm at their school as well. Mrs. Jeanette would go to the back of her house and cut the bay leave branches off the tree. Then she would separate the good from the bad in a box where we would clean, dry, and bag the leaves. We cleaned them in a baking soda and water solution, rinsed them in plain water, dried them with paper towels one leaf at a time, and bagged them in bunches of 30-40 leaves. Also she told us a lot of stories as we worked but what stuck out to me was the reason she was donating the leaves to the fundraiser. She said this year she didn’t have the finances to donate to the fundraiser this year and that she could donate the bay leaves (which was about $350 worth of leaves in total) instead. On top of that she had 80 bags to make (we only got her to 60). Then the board looked at the gifts that were given in the past and they thought her bay leaves were the best because it was something that the chefs could actually use and would be more meaningful than a tshirt. It was fun listening to her stories and leaving a new skill because I had never cleaned bay leaves before and I wish we could have stayed there longer. 


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