Dry Riverbed and climate appropriate plants.

On Monday I paid a visit to Stork Elementary in Rancho Cucamonga. They received a garden grant back in the 2009-2010 school year. Marina Smith is the teacher that is in charge of the program and she speaks very highly of Brandi LaPorte who is a parent volunteer that takes kids out to the garden to teach them about science and she also does a lot of fundraising to keep the garden in active. The garden has three parts, the Climate appropriate garden with a dry riverbed pictured to the left.

Peppers, Eggplants and the wonderful Marigold companion to keep bugs away.

There is also a planter wall that includes many edibles such as squash and artichoke as well as some climate appropriate plants and some dwarf citrus trees which are climate appropriate AND edible.

Lots of edibles and drought tolerants growing in plantersAt the end of the planters there is a slope with six terraced vegetable boxes. There are many plants including eggplants, peppers and squash.

A cantaloupe loving the garden!

Most of the vegies and fruits are ready to be harvested and winter crops are going to be planted soon.

 Here is some okra which Mrs. Smith gave me some to take home.

I bet you’ve never seen okra still on the plant.

As you can see they’ve been quite successful all the summer squash are ready to be harvested and summer squash are ready to be planted.
This Banana squash is MASSIVE, one of those leafs is the size of my head.

Mrs. Smith’s class planted a small pumpkin patch and it has been quite succesful.

Pumpkin Patch!

Mrs. Smith gave me some okra and eggplant to take home. I shared some of them with some of my coworkers back at the office.

Okra and eggplants!

Mrs. Smith told me about some of Brandi LaPorte’s fundraising for the garden. She does what she calls “Bread for the Garden” and sells fresh baked organic bread with some of the proceeds going back to the garden. She also will raffle off baskets of fresh produce that is produced from the garden. For all you gardeners, I’m sure you know how it is when too many things produce all at the same time.
Over the summer, Mrs. Smith would send e-mails and updates about the goings on of the garden since everyone was out of school. She was able to get a garden committee together and volunteers would come once ever monday to help weed, plant, and just in general keep the garden together and moving strong.
If you have a garden at your school, maybe you can take some of these ideas and alter them to fit your school garden. If you received a grant from us, you can always e-mail or call for some advice and we’d be happy to help point you in the right direction.
Congrats Stork for keeping such a wonderful school garden!