A beautiful place filled with life!

The school garden is tended by members of Lettuce Grow, the Garden Club, and they grow a variety of things, including fruits, vegetables and flowers. Currently, the crop is made up of “broccoli, kale, chard, cauliflower, beans, and herbs like parsley, oregano, and a fruit tree,” said Lettuce Grow adviser Ms. Sylvia Herrera. “Because of the cold weather, everything is currently dormant, so it really depends on the season.” The “idea” of a school garden at Armijo started back in 2017, although Ms. Herrera was denied twice before it was approved. The building of the garden officially started in March 2019.

“Students are on their phones so often and aren’t eating well,” she said. She felt that having a garden would help both of those problems by providing something hands-on and teaching students how to actually grow something. Lettuce Grow members and the after school culinary club work in the garden but “anyone really is allowed to work in the garden, even if you see me doing some garden work at lunch, I’d even let you water something. All are welcome,” she said.

Sustainable Solano has even opened up an Eventbrite sign-up for a Garden Work and Maintenance Day on Wednesday, April 5, from 3:45 to 5:45, allowing the public to come on campus and contribute their help.

The mural of Frida Kahlo was a donation from a former Armijo art teacher who got help from several seniors at the time.

In February, Lettuce Grow had plans to decorate the garden in honor of Black History Month and Valentine’s Day. They eventually plan to expand the path even more to make it accessible to those in wheelchairs.

Once the food from the garden is harvested it is shared with the Family Center for those students and families in need. The day a bag of food is donated, a family is called to pick it up so they could have a healthy meal that same day.

Ms. Hernandez encourages Lettuce Grow members and other volunteers to assist during school vacations, but the garden has a timed hose that is embedded into the garden beds to distribute water at the correct time to help keep the garden alive.

By applying for grants and receiving donations, the garden has been able to get the supplies and equipment needed to be maintained. They continue to take donations, including dirt and seeds, manpower and money. The garden has a lot of heavy equipment, so even helping carry a couple bags of dirt is very appreciated.

The president of the club, Mariah Balboa, initially joined in 2021, the start of her junior year. She loved the idea of the club and, with that, her love for gardening deepened. She had already learned to work with the soil from her mother who grew up in Mexico and taught her daughter how to maintain a garden.

“I decided to become president of the club because I was already the vice president and after our previous president graduated, I decided to step up to the task,” she said.

Her favorite part of the club is the unity and different people coming together to make something beautiful.

Students who want to invest in the garden and learn a new skill that they can use forever should join the Garden Club. They meet on Thursdays at lunch in F-5.