Spring Garden News

Our garden is a community effort! Here is a quick round-up of all the great things happening through the hard work of our garden staff, teachers, parents, students, and volunteers.

  • Every class now has scheduled garden days. Sarita, our garden “intern,” is a seasoned environmental educator who sings, plays guitar, and leads fun activities. She and Ms, Rossi led activities for every class in grades K through 5 and Mr. Lackey’s Urban Agriculture elective. Our goal was to introduce the garden rules, give a basic orientation, and show students how to separate into groups to do different activities, including soil exploration, insects, planting, mulching, and food prep.
  • Ms. Spafford’s class prepared homemade tortillas and stir-fried Swiss chard. For most classes we served a vegetable snack with a dip to further our nutrition lessons.
  • Fourth grade and the combined special ed class planted a Three Sisters garden.
  • The middle school students have been helping with garden maintenance by spreading mulch, planting, and weeding. The gardens truly belong to the students—they have been doing most of the work.
  • January through March had more instruction and participation by more students and teachers than any other months in the history of the gardens. During this time we also got our seedlings from the DIGS greenhouse, tomatoes and peppers from the Great Tomato Plant Sale, and extra starts from the Master Gardeners in Concord. Students have planted everything in the upper and lower garden and the teacher boxes by the classroom doors.
  • We have had some solid help from Barbara Dominguez and Aldrin from UC Berkeley, who have worked with students and done a lot of the heavy maintenance.
  • Former School District Superintendent Bruce Harter has been by to weed-eat and help with the gardens. The learning center staff has also put some time into the garden on their days off.
  • American Soil just dropped off 12 yards of soil, partially donated thanks to parents Lexie and Jose Maravilla, which we will use to fill the planter boxes.
  • We also have planted perennials around the lower edge of the upper garden.
  • Tina put in the irrigation for all the new areas that were planted.
  • Alan, who coordinated the Eagle Scout project, fixed the irrigation in the boxes by the classrooms.
  • Common Vision came to prune and fertilize the trees.
  • Grants were submitted to the Richmond Community Foundation for UC interns for next year and to Kaiser Permanente to continue our work on the Healthy Eating project.
  • Ms. Janora designed a new bulletin board at the entrance to school and is tabulating the results of our student fruit and vegetable preference surveys.

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