Anna’s Tuin Spring Festival: A Hands-On Break from Academic Life

By Miloš Maggiore

– On May 19, the management team of Anna’s Tuin en Ruigte will host a spring festival together with OnStage – AUC’s performing arts committee – on the patch of land opposite the academic building. The festival will consist of several activities, including workshops in fermentation, greener gardening, permaculture, and urban farming. There will also be a bake-sale and a pizza-baking workshop, the proceeds of which will go into funding future activities in the garden.

Seska Trip, a second-year Social Science major currently doing her community project with the management team of Anna’s Tuin, said this festival will be an opportunity for AUC students to learn more about Science Park. “Most people I know say they know about [Anna’s Tuin en Ruigte], that it’s there, but they don’t enter,” said Trip. “The spring festival is a way to get new people to the garden, maybe to find something new to do with their time.”

Anna’s Tuin was founded five years ago by UvA students majoring in Future Planet and Beta-Gamma studies, with the goal of becoming a ‘gemeenschaps tuin’, or a privately owned public garden in the city. Since then it has been cared for by volunteers under the supervision of the management team. The team in turn works with the garden’s administrative board, made up of UvA graduates and AUC’s dean, Murray Pratt.

The spring festival has been an annual event for the past three years, but according to Rita Hansl, a second-year Science major doing her internship with Anna’s Tuin, this is the first time the schedule has been carefully planned to accommodate all the activities the management team wants to offer.

The collaboration with OnStage concerns the final evening activity – a jam session. “We already host monthly jam sessions, so this is a way to expand our activities and to get Anna’s Tuin more involved with AUC,” said Sarah Tjeerdsma, secretary of OnStage. “The idea is that anyone can join in, AUC or UvA students, or anyone else who is attending.”

The festival will centre on the four pillars of Anna’s Tuin – building a community space, having a place to learn, creating a living lab, and designing an urban farm. “As a living lab it already hosts many classes, experiments, community projects and internships, and there is scope for much more,” said Pratt. “Its educational side brings options for our students to extend the ways they mentor younger learners from the community. As an urban farm, groups like Pangea can gain valuable insight into sustainable gardening and production, and as a meeting place, well, particularly as the weather gets nicer it is a very pleasant spot to walk around, change the pace, or contemplate nature.”

According to Trip, getting more students involved with Anna’s Tuin would be mutually beneficial – it gives AUC students a community project/internship opportunity whilst keeping Anna’s Tuin’s management team up and running. The spring festival is partly meant to encourage such involvement, but mostly it is meant to draw people in. “We mainly hope that people will see that this is a place to go to, even if they don’t like gardening,” said Trip.

Photo by Miloš Maggiore

Editor’s note: This news story is part of a collaboration between The Herring and AUC’s journalism course. The story was entirely reported, written, edited, and fact checked by members of the journalism course. Some material may have been altered by The Herring’s editors to fit its style guidelines.

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