Vista Verde Middle School used grant funds to construct an outdoor lab to teach students organic agricultural practices (land sustainability, soil management, and how to support healthy aquifers) and how to reduce their carbon footprint (reuse, recycle, repurpose). Students reported a sense of empowerment in knowing that they could plant and maintain a garden without the use of herbicides or pesticides and yet produce food that looks just like grocery store food. Nutrient cycling through use of compost bins enabled students to see how they can use and reuse—that nothing gets thrown away. Students volunteered in the cafeteria and collected green waste to be placed in the composting bins. This green waste was then processed into the vermiculture bins, which in turn created soil enrichment so that no chemicals are added to nurture growth. Students noticed aphids on the cabbage and broccoli in our fall and winter garden, so they researched pest control techniques, which helped them understand the need for organic pest control. The school purchased ladybugs and is exploring other insect pest control options.
Thank you to Vista Verde Middle School for sharing your organic project!
Please join us in congratulating the recipients of the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grants.