Ventura's Lincoln Elementary School is a Title 1 school
serving a diverse community including one of the largest homeless and
home-insecure populations in the county. Its school garden, "Gardens of the
Dragons," is especially important, teaching fourth and fifth graders how to
Agromin donated mulch to the school for its garden and
school orchard. Students placed the mulch in their vegetable garden barrels and
around the trees in the orchard. They are seeing firsthand how mulch makes
gardening easy and water-efficient. Instead of watering every other day,
students now only water two times a week. Students have been able to see that
the weeds do not grow as much because of the mulch and have also learned that
the mulch naturally breaks down and feeds the trees and vegetables—not to
mention that mulch makes the garden look beautiful…fresh and clean. The
students are also taught about healthy soil, seasonality and stewardship of their
gardens as well as about beneficial insects.
Kids are currently growing broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower,
lettuce, carrots, beans, kale, beets and onions. As the vegetables mature, the
students harvest, wash, and prepare them for tasting. They will soon be
harvesting kale. The students will taste the kale "raw," and then in a prepared salad.
Lincoln's orchard was started more than 14 years ago by a
teacher and has been maintained by Ventura Unified School District staff and parent
volunteers since then. It serves as an important resource to the entire school,
providing fresh fruits to Lincoln families year-round.
The orchard produces oranges,
apples, lemons, limes, guava, avocado, persimmon, pomegranate, loquat, figs,
peaches, and nectarines. The students hope to plant a mulberry tree this school
year. While the barrel garden does not lend itself to plants that are slow
growing, the orchard provides a great counterpoint for students--showing them
what is possible with patience and care.
As a reward for their work with their garden (weeding, watering, raking and mulching), kids can go to the orchard for a taste
treat. At the beginning of fall, they ate figs and guava. Currently, they are
enjoying apples and oranges.
Way to go to all the students, staff and parents at Lincoln!
Labels: Lincoln Elementary School, school garden, Ventura