Yolo Farm to Fork held an award ceremony on Tuesday, May 2 at Korematsu Elementary in Davis celebrating 18 edible school gardens throughout Yolo County. The $500 garden grant awards were sponsored by La Tourangelle (a local arisan oil company based in Woodland), Nugget Markets, the George W. Hinkle Memorial Fund, and individual donations.
The school gardens that received grants are at various stages of development and are diverse as the schools themselves. The grants will allow some schools to plant a garden for the first time. At Woodland Prairie Elementary, grant recipient Odette Christensen states, “Our goal is to create an edible school garden that will become a living laboratory where our students can discover, experiment, observe and learn.”
At Esparto Middle school, Science and Horticulture teacher Erin Simons plans to revive a long-neglected school garden. As a new teacher at the school, she notes that in Esparto, “We are an agriculture community, but we do not have funding for additional [garden] supplies.” Now that she has received a garden grant, she hopes to revitalize the school garden and help her students “learn more about where their food comes from”.
In Davis, Korematsu Elementary plans to expand their chicken coop and add a sensory garden to support a “project-based Kindergarden unit, Social Emotional Learning (SEL), and Mindfulness lessons.
At River City High School in West Sacramento, teacher Andrew Tait has launched the Diggers & Diners Club. This student organization is dedicated to growing and eating locally grown vegetables. The club has also launched a student-run CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) project. “We recently delivered Swiss chard and celery to 12 teachers on campus,” he shares, and the grant funds will help the students expand their new venture.”