Learning through doing; Edible & Native American Gardens
Marquez Charter Elementary School has several gardening areas:
1) the lower yard edible garden which was founded in 1994 by a group of parents and staff. This contains 6 raised beds, a compost area, two fruit trees and a butterfly garden;
2) seven raised beds on the upper yard; and
3) a native garden in the front of school which contains plants used by the Chumash and Tongva (Native American Garden) and also plants that attract pollinators.
In our seed to table program students plant the food, tend it, harvest it and eat it. Eating can be as simple as tasting chives and arugula or as involved as making a salad or pasta dish. Recipes from cooking lessons are posted online to encourage families to cook them together at home.
Discover our Native American Garden
In 2015 we replanted the area under the school sign with Native American plants. This is a teaching garden relevant for the students in grades 3 and 4 who are studying Native American History in Social Studies curriculum. We invited students in Grade 4 to research the plants in our Native American Garden. Here’s what they found:
More plant information will be added.
It Takes A Team
Financial support from community organizations and FOM as well as hands-on support from community members and parents help our gardens grow.
We have received two large grants during the 2014-15 school year. In the fall of 2014 we received a grant from the Western Garden Foundation. In March 2015 we received a grant from Whole Foods Foundation. Both grants are being used to enhance our edible garden program.
We have been fortunate to have community and parent volunteers that assist with the edible garden program. This year’s community volunteers have included Carolyn Hasselkorn, Chef Elisa Hunsinker and Chef Kirstin Uhrenholdt. In addition, we’ve received valuable maintenance assistance from Kurt Bierschenk, Peter Branch and Tatiana Karpusenko. Parents interested in volunteering with gardening or cooking activities should contact Marie.
The Difference The Edible Garden Makes
“My daughter rarely tries new veggies. After her gardening fun with Ms. Marie at school, she came home asking for kale and we made smoothies! It was amazing.”
Lisa Solomon (Marquez parent).
“The Marquez Edible Garden is an incredible gift to our school. This has inspired a love of gardening in our children that will last a lifetime. To work on, grow and eat things that were planted in our own school garden is a beautiful process. Our gratitude to Marie for creating this Eden is immeasurable. This garden enriches the lives of every student. My slogan for Marquez is: Come for the education STAY for the homemade pesto!”
Beverly Jacobs (Marquez parent).
How to help
- Volunteer when your child’s class visits the gardens
- Volunteer for gardening club
- Apply for gardening grants
- If you would like to be involved in the school beautification and general gardening team, visit the PTA Beautification page.
To learn what is currently happening or has happened in the school garden, visit the Marquez Garden Blog.