Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Stork Elementary: School from the 09-10 program still going strong.

On Monday I paid a visit to Stork Elementary in Rancho Cucamonga. They received a garden grant back in the 2009-2010 school year. Marina Smith is the teacher that is in charge of the program and she speaks very highly of Brandi LaPorte who is a parent volunteer that takes kids out to the garden to teach them about science and she also does a lot of fundraising to keep the garden in active. The garden has three parts, the Climate appropriate garden with a dry riverbed pictured below 
Dry Riverbed and climate appropriate plants.
There is also a planter wall that includes many edibles such as squash and artichoke as well as some climate appropriate plants and some dwarf citrus trees which are climate appropriate AND edbile.
Lots of edibles and drought tolerants growing in planters.
At the end of the planters there is a slope with six terraced vegetable boxes. There are many plants including eggplants, peppers and squash.
Peppers, Eggplants and the wonderful Marigold companion to keep bugs away.

Most of the vegies and fruits are ready to be harvested and winter crops are going to be planted soon.
A cantaloupe loving the garden.

 Here is some okra which Mrs. Smith gave me some to take home.
I bet you've never seen okra still on the plant.
As you can see they've been quite succesfull all the summer squash are ready to be harvested and summer squash are ready to be planted.

This Banana squash is MASSIVE, one of those leafs is the size of my head.
 Mrs. Smith's class planted a small pumpkin patch and it has been quite succesful.
Pumpkin Patch!
Mrs. Smith gave me some okra and eggplant to take home. I shared some of them with some of my coworkers back at the office.
Okra and eggplants!
Mrs. Smith told me about some of Brandi LaPorte's fundraising for the garden. She does what she calls "Bread for the Garden" and sells fresh baked organic bread with some of the proceeds going back to the garden. She also will raffle off baskets of fresh produce that is produced from the garden. For all you gardeners, I'm sure you know how it is when too many things produce all at the same time.

Over the summer, Mrs. Smith would send e-mails and updates about the goings on of the garden since everyone was out of school. She was able to get a garden committee together and volunteers would come once ever monday to help weed, plant, and just in general keep the garden together and moving strong.

If you have a garden at your school, maybe you can take some of these ideas and alter them to fit your school garden. If you received a grant from us, you can always e-mail or call for some advice and we'd be happy to help point you in the right direction.

Congrats Stork for keeping such a wonderful school garden!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Preliminary Design for Los Osos High School's Garden

Here is a preliminary design for Los Osos High's garden. I'm waiting to hear back on any changes and once I receive those, I'll post some more detailed images of the design.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Upland High: Making Vegetable Boxes.

 Today Upland High had a minimum day, so we had just enough time to make six vegetable boxes. Here are some photos of kids making boxes.We are careful not to show any kids' faces.

Putting the boxes together

Putting chicken wire on the bottom of the boxes to keep critters out.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Upland High is moving fast!

A lot has been going on underground. Irrigation boxes hint to the work that was completed.

Brand new valves, pressure regulators and filters connecting to the new HDPE irrigation lines.

Underground Irrigation is IN! Next on the list are vegetable boxes.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Upland High Garden: getting things started.

Upland High began work on their garden today. We used tractors and volunteer students for a majority of the labor
Here is one of the tractors being used and students working in the background.

Here is Jennifer McAdams taking one of the tractors for a spin, she is the teacher who applied for the grant

Here she is again taking the larger tractor for a spin.
We have been spending the day removing turf, and I will be going back to spend some more time out there removing some more turf. Meanwhile Rick Abilez and his crew is getting water to us so that we can get irrigation in next week.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Redeemer's Fence is Up!

Check out the fence and entryway that Redeemer put up last week.
 It was a great choice for a fence. It's tall enough to keep little ones out, but it is also short enough and well designed so that it does not make te garden feel caged in. (There's maleene picking some tomatoes for the school kids' lunch that day)
On the other side a hedge is also used as a natural border instead of continuuing the fence. This also gives it a sense of openness on this side of the garden.