Happy Valley Elementary School in Santa Cruz, California received a grant for the entire school population of 152 K-6 grade students to participate in the planting, care, and eating of an organic salad. Each grade was responsible for growing one part of the salad from seed to harvest: kindergarten students grew carrots, first-grade students grew spinach, second-grade students grew lettuce, third-grade students grew beets, a combo class of fourth- and fifth-grade students grew radishes, and a combo class of fifth- and sixth-grade students grew celery. Their biggest achievement is that the project brought students into the garden on a weekly basis through Life Lab curriculum, the Recess Garden Club, and “Dig It!” after school program. The garden has been integrated back into the school curriculum and is proving to be a fertile place for learning, play, and community-building. Every student spends time learning in the garden. Students learned that garden abundance comes from the fertility of the soil and enhanced soil fertility by composting and using worm bins. Through the process of decomposition, what would have been garbage was transformed into beautiful compost. Using compost means that the school doesn’t have to use chemicals for fertility or buy plastic bags of soil transported from a store to the school.
Thank you to Happy Valley Elementary School for sharing your organic project!
Please join us in congratulating the recipients of the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grants.