A group of freshman and senior girls and their principal from Carondelet High School visited Rodgers Ranch today as a service project. Board members Alison Clary and John Matthesen hosted the fieldtrip. Alison gave the girls a tour of the house and told them about the Rodgers family, farmhouse, and significant agricultural history of the area. She discussed the center's mission, the concept of sustainability, reducing one's carbon footprint, climate change, and drought, and the group brainstormed ways to become more environmental.
John showed the students a short video on permaculture and explained what the urban farm does and what techniques it uses to practice non-toxic, sustainable farming. The group took an in-depth tour of the urban farm, and John showed the girls how companion planting puts theory into practice. The girls visited the "worm hotel" and learned about vermiculture, sampled many plants throughout the farm (lettuces, tomatoes, beans, chard, etc.), checked out the rain barrel system, visited the bee hives, and much more.
Before the girls departed by bus, Alison led them on a sheet mulching project by the windmill. The girls raked away old landscaping material from the dirt, lay down overlapping burlap bags, and shoveled wood chips on top! They did an excellent job, had a great time, and hope to implement some of what they'd learned back at their high school, where they want to start composting food scraps from the cafeteria and plant new gardens. We look forward to hearing about their accomplishments in the coming year!
Photos by Alison Clary