Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Everett Alvarez students grow food, donate it to Dorothy's

Everett Alvarez students are not just learning about agriculture, but philanthropy, through their work growing vegetables at the school.

The Future Farmers of America chapter of the school grew, harvested and donated  vegetables to Dorthy’s Kitchen on Tuesday Nov 25th.

Students participating in the program have been going through procedures to allow them to sell their products out of their Eagle Produce Store on campus. While waiting for the permission to be granted, the Environmental Horticulture class that is part of the Agriculture Program decided to begin growing celery, Brussels sprouts, green cabbage, red cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower in their garden.

“Before starting this project, we really didn’t know what could go wrong,” said Gracie Robles, “all we knew is that we could grow vegetables for others, so we did.”

Vegetable plugs were planted around the end of August and students began to maintain the area.

“Water was a big concern,” said David Robles, “we knew about the drought so micro sprinklers is what we installed.”

As the plants continued to grow, the class was introduced to pests that many local farmers are currently fighting. “It only took a week or two and then aphids began attacking our plants, “ said  Alicia Reyena.

“Something called a Bagrada bug ate all of my cauliflower before it even started,” said Joe Perez. “Mr. Wyrick told us later that the Bagrada bug didn’t even exist in California 6 years ago.”

Students in the class gained valuable lessons about controlling the transfer of pests from one country to the next and the impact it can have on agriculture production. By the time, the students harvested their crops they were proud of what they could provide the community and what they had done.

“Three large boxes of celery came out of our garden box,” said Donato Robles.

 “I’m really proud to be donating what we grew to the community, I just wish there was some peanut butter for the celery,” said jokingly Bridget Sandoval. 

 -- Edgar Becerra (Everett Alvarez High FFA Reporter)

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