500 Edwards Street, Winters, CA 95694
Nan Williams, science teacher and Arn Williams, volunteer
Waggoner Elementary has been working hard to revive the garden this year at Waggoner. They moved soil, weeded, planted, learned about composting and had fun learning together. The garden coordinator/science teacher meets with students in the garden during recess weekly and visits the garden on a regular basis with students during science class. This winter their students grew beets, carrots, chard, spinach, and lettuce—and enjoy working in the garden. They aspire to make their garden better.
Their goal is to create a more developed learning/tasting area, which they did. Students could sit in the garden with their class and during recesses while learning about the garden and/or tasting the produce that they have grown. They are:
- Installing drip irrigation so that the garden is sustainable over the summer
- Building more garden beds so that they can grow more food
- Planting dwarf citrus trees so that students can also see fruit in production
- Building their tool supply for garden maintenance
- Coordinating with the school cafeteria to feature some of the produce during a lunch meal
- Recruiting more parent volunteers to help out in the garden
The grant funds helped them meet many of the above goals. Specifically, Waggoner used grant funds for wood for boxes and brackets, 4 containers for dwarf citrus trees, 4 dwarf citrus trees, 3 picnic tables, and tools (shovels, hula hoes, trowels, clippers).
What has been the greatest impact of the garden? “The kids are really PROUD of their school garden,” said Nan Williams, science teacher and garden volunteer. “They also work together, and know where their food comes from. All of the kids get educational and health benefits from the garden, but they also get a social experience that is incredibly valuable.”
Waggoner is working on a drip system to have the garden on a timer to conserve water. They want to compost to have even more outdoor learning and sustainability, and now that the garden is flourishing, they also want to share more with the families because the kids are so proud.
The Taste Our Garden grant has helped them meet many of our garden goals. The funds are also helping in their ultimate goal, which is to have our students plant, grow, harvest, and taste fresh fruit and vegetables.
~by Beth Harrison, Yolo Farm to Fork Executive Director