BLUE LAKE, Ca (KIEM)– Thursday is National Intern Day, and high school interns are hard at work at the Blue Lake Rancheria’s community garden. They’re producing natural foods for the tribe’s meal programs and restaurants.
On a sunny day, high school students are usually out and about enjoying the weather. But not these students in Blue Lake. They’re getting their hands dirty five days a week while school is out, learning how to grow all-natural foods.
“I love it. I live just down the street, so it’s really easy for me to get here. It’s like a five-minute walk,” said Levi Robbins, a 17-year-old rising senior at Arcata High School.
Levi Robbins is a 17-year-old rising senior at Arcata high school and enjoys gardening. It’s something he and his mom have a passion for. The internship experience is his first actual job.
“I wouldn’t say glamorous, but I would rather be doing this than office work. Being outside, I like working with my hands. It’s honestly, working in the garden is a little meditative. You can kind of just get in your zone,” said Robbins.
The Rancheria does pay the seven students throughout the summer. One of the interns went from waking up at noon in July to now eight in the morning.
“It’s tiring, but I kind of like it. It’s my first job. I feel like it’s not that hard of a job, because I have my friends with me. We’re out in the sun, and we have a really cool boss,” said Lilli Bowman, a rising senior at Arcata High School.
The purpose of this program is to teach kids where their food comes from, the use of organic practices, and what it takes to maintain a garden.
“It’s difficult work. It’s a lot of shoveling and maintenance of the crops. Each vegetable from seed, all the way through it’s plant life, [and] mulching the social. Basically, process the plant throughout.
After the produce is harvested, it’s then severed to the tribe’s elders and at their restaurants. For more information on internship programs, the Blue Lake Rancheria offers head over to their website BlueLakeRancheria-nsn.gov.