MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity) Program
Working with MEND, Farming’s Future initiated home garden training for low income residents. The training and instruction provided oversight as the local residents developed their Victory Over Poverty gardens. The participants learned to plant and care for their own fresh vegetables and herbs for use on their tables and prepared in their own kitchens.
Wilshire Private School
The Wilshire Private School conducts a full week of special activities in the Spring, Spirit Week. Farming’s Future gave a workshop on Gardening Day during their last Spirit Week.
Farming’s Future facilitated botanical lessons and planting of two bare root fruit trees. While half of the student body went to the yard collectively digging one of the holes, the other half sang and danced in the classroom learning about the vascular system of these trees including xylem, phloem, roots, photosynthesis, bark and fruiting. Then they switched tasks, giving all sixty students an opportunity to participate in all the activities. It was a kick and a half and fun for the students, teachers, and administrators.
Head of School Marlin Miller gave a ceremonial dedication among all students and teachers on the yard while both trees were planted and troughs measured and leveled. Wilshire Private School plans to harvest their first crop as a gift to the surrounding neighborhood for their kindness and community support. Both trees were generously donated by the Tree People.
Bolton Hall Museum
The Bolton Hall Program is a sustainable, interactive and symbiotic relationship among Mount Gleason Middle School, Verdugo Hills High School, various commercial and individual community members and The Bolton Hall Museum / Little Landers Historical Society. The major fund raising event for Bolton Hall, conducted by Little Landers Historical Society, is a community wide, very popular, plant sale – held each year in April.
Some background: In 1962, Bolton Hall was named Los Angeles City Historical Monument Number Two (the Avila Adobe in Olvera Street is site number one). The Little Landers Historical Society worked to save Bolton Hall from demolition in 1959 and has successfully maintained its restoration and oversight since. During all restorative work, the interior of the building has been kept as near to the original rock construction as possible. Bolton Hall is the archival home for artifacts of local history including Verdugo Hills High School Yearbooks. Informed docents lead visitors through the large meeting hall that presents popular exhibitions and events continuing the community enrichment that the Little Landers of 1913 envisioned.
Little Landers Historical Society presents popular exhibitions and events throughout the year as well as conducting fundraising campaigns on behalf of Bolton Hall. The annual plant sale is their largest source of income.
Farming’s Future’s Bolton Hall Program is an approved Service Learning graduation requirement of Verdugo Hills High School, mandated by the Los Angeles Unified School District. The mission is to integrate actively with the Little Landers Fundraising Committee. The Verdugo Hills High School staff, faculty and participating students establish the stakeholder base. The funds from the annual plant sale are used to pay for electricity, general maintenance, and upkeep of the Bolton Hall Museum.
The program includes weekly lessons where students research and examine soil composition, explore a variety of propagation techniques (from seed, seedlings and grafting)and learn to identify a variety of plants. Discovering for themselves appropriate horticultural choices in this micro community. The students additionally conduct research and analyze economic and marketing issues, and develop business plans, working with on campus economic and science teachers and offsite community groups. Leadership skills are developed by collaborating with the Mount Gleason Middle School students.
Mount Gleason middle school students participated in the Bolton Hall Program under the umbrella of one of Farming’s Future’s after-school programs. This school is less than one mile to the north of Verdugo Hills High School. Mount Gleason Middle School was originally built with an acre of agricultural property; the gardens are located to the southwest of the Administrative offices. Assisting with the propagation of seedlings and grafting under the direction of and side by side with the high-school students, these younger students develop new friendships at the high school – an important bridge as they matriculate.
Click here for information about Bolton Hall Museum.
Farmings Future plans and presents workshops in a variety of venues, such as private schools, public schools, community centers, and scouting organizations. Please contact us to discuss your educational goals and your needs.
In partnership with the Tree People, Farmings Future distributes trees into the community during January and early February. Our workshop programs have become popular so please let us know as early as you can if you would like a workshop or lesson conducted at your school site, home, garden club, Tu B’Shevat event or actually any where during this season. The trees are typically bare root; however, beginning 2009, the Tree People and Farmings Future began distributing quartets, four mature trees planted into a two by two foot container. We would like to see the quartet program grow (pun intended) throughout the entire southern California population and the container boxes are especially pratical for families with little or no land, apartment dwellers or small patios.
Many of you have asked to volunteer with this program. We really need help on delivery dates so if you have a truck or a big trunk in your car, that would be helpful. We also need volunteers to prune (we’ll show you how, just bring your shears and gloves) and some strong arms to lug sacks of soils and from time to time mix soil amendments. Please contact us whenever you have some time….We’ll put you to work immediately.
Mount Gleason Middle School
Mount Gleason Middle School was originally built with over an acre of agricultural property. The site has water at every bed and has shaded work surfaces nearby. Due to funding limitations in the 1980’s and 1990’s, Los Angeles Unified School District dropped many programs from its curriculum. As a result, these fabulous gardens and learning opportunities went fallow.
Farming’s Future helped interested students get involved reinvigorating these gardens after school providing a casual, educational and inclusive curriculum. The success of this program was measured by an increase in school attendance since student participation was dependent on being in classes through the end of the school day.
Sepulveda Middle School – Descanso Gardens Tour
This one-day event is designed to augment Special-Ed department’s ‘good behavior day’ field trips. Descanso Gardens consists of an exceptionally sensitive, creative and helpful staff who designed a half-day adventure tour for these students. Lunch was held onsite among the heavily forested park-like picnic areas
Stonehurst Elementary School
Alice Debbaudt provided an important link to teachers who are interested in developing class time instruction in the campus gardens. These programs include organic gardening and horticulture as well as arts and crafts utilizing nature’s resources. Some of the students were interested in design and technology such as building fences and benches from tree limbs that can withstand the weight and movement of occupants, while other students were interested in collecting lavender buds and stems, stitching the flora into sachets. All of the students enjoyed the fruit and vegetable tastings from their own school garden. Mr. D, the principal, was a strong and devoted advocate for garden curriculum. The students, teachers, parents and community appreciated his enthusiasm, excellent leadership and ability to open the classroom door and take a walk with the students into the gardens. http://stonehurstes-lausd-ca.schoolloop.com/
Verdugo Hills High School Service Learning
Verdugo Hills High School participates in the Service-Learning Program mandated for graduation within the Los Angeles Unified School District. Farming’s Future’s Bolton Hall Project was now an approved project within this scope.
Students research basic horticulture and plant identification to discover for themselves what is appropriate in their micro community. They conduct research and analysis of basic economic questions, marketing issues, business plans and work among and with diverse groups (government, business, youth, seniors, peers, non profits, and the museum members and board) who have a variety of needs that are not always the same. In completing the students’ program, they organize and communicate their findings directly to their onsite mentor and selected faculty and to community members who are interested and participated in the program – all in accordance with the Service-Learning requirements.
This program was designed to augment the fund-raising efforts for the Bolton Hall Museum,. All of the plants these students research and grow are donated to the Bolton Hall Museum’s annual plant sale. The funds are used to pay for electricity and general maintenence and upkeep of the building which is described in detail in the Bolton Hall Program.