By Marianne Zaugg, ED
Our communities’ landscape is changing ever so rapidly due to our very necessary restraint of water use. Some schoolyards are turning their lawns into vibrant edible gardens, and others utilize their space to plant drought tolerant and native California plants. Hence, raised beds are emerging everywhere, as empty lots are transforming into lively ecological system, benefiting all species.
Teaching our students the joy of growing, cultivating, and harvesting produce to eat simple, whole foods at their school is an integral part of our work. Every child ought to have the opportunity to learn about organic farming and to prepare a wholesome meal that supports healthy eating habits. Our Farm to School program provides students with skills they can easily apply outside of school and will use the rest of their lives. Therefore, a dynamic outdoor green-learning space prepares the student for a job market that is rapidly changing to expect a higher sustainable standard of living.
Students in the San Gabriel Valley, in Rosemead, El Monte and South El Monte, are working hard to render their underutilized yards into a lively natural habitat, adding raised garden beds to provide the community with organic veggies. Weekly classes demonstrate how to cultivate veggies, plant a garden, and learn about the methods of water harvesting. Farm to school enriches the connection of each with fresh, healthy food by changing education practices at schools and preschools.
Our farm to school program aims to empower student and their families to make informed food choices and contributing to vibrant and healthy communities. One garden at a time.