The school organic garden was designed with the goal of teaching students about growing edible plants and providing these plants to our food assistance center in order to be distributed to needy families in our La Mesa community. Our garden project is a collaborative effort that begins with a “hands on” experience for students in Grades K-8 to develop an understanding of how food is grown, what plants require to grow, pest control, water conservation (in light of our current drought issues), proper care of different plant species, and team work involving both peers and adults. Depending upon the grade level, students learn to “plant it, grow it, and eat it.”
Volunteers work on the garden to do general garden maintenance, prepare the beds for planting, or any other seasonal work that needs to be done. The garden volunteers consists of faculty, staff, parents and parishioners.
St. Martin Academy is grateful for the support of our local and global community in helping with enhancement and development of the garden. In 2016, the school received a Catholic Relief Services grant award of $2500 which allowed us to purchase the material to build 10 raised beds and put in an irrigation system. The school received a grant of $1200 from the California Fertilizer Foundation which covered the cost of good soil in 2017.
In the winter of 2019, the school received a donation of $2500 from the Father Sproul Memorial Fund to complete the citrus tree project which includes a drip irrigation system.
The Village Garden Club of La Jolla contributed $300 towards the purchase of citrus trees in the Fall of 2018, garden tools in 2019 and garden stools in 2020 ($480) to keep students socially distance in the outdoor classroom.
Biggie Tree Service removed a Aleppo Pine Tree near the mural and the wood chips were used throughout the raised bed area. They also thinned out the Italian Stone Pine Tree.
A castle facade and gnome were added to the garden decor by Artist Jessica Velasquez.
Art Teacher, Jessica Velasquez added a mural to the garden with the help of student volunteers.
The Food Assistance Center received over 150 bags of produce, consisting of lettuce, swiss chard, arugula, carrots, radishes & kale during the 2018 school year. Potatoes, corn & herbs were also grown. Students were able to taste different herbs and take home a variety of garden vegetables.