• Lincoln Elementary School Garden & Orchard Benefit the Community
    Thursday, December 17, 2015 at

  • 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 grow food.

    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!

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