On the Farm: A New Beginning

This is the garden after only a few months without a farmer.  It is quite easy to see how quickly mother nature can reclaim once beautifully cultivated land.  In the coming weeks and months, I, along with the help of the College Prep Environment Club, will try to restore this farm to its former state.

History

The farm itself started in 2006 with Farmer Jon who is still working at IDEA as part of the middle school teacher team.  Originally the farm boasted chickens, goats, and rabbits though they have since moved on.  (There are still rabbits around, though they are now testing the fence to find ways to get in and eat my baby sprouts.)  Every year since, the land and it’s produce brought nutrition and awareness to the 1400+ students at IDEA Donna.

Plan

Having a good, well thought out plan is a key ingredient to growing plants.  The main job of the farm is to produce vegetables that go straight to the students plate.  A second job is to create an environment that facilitates student learning, so teachers can bring students out for hands on experiences.  Third, and finally, is to bring awareness of the farm and its impact to the larger community of Donna and the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Here is a proposed layout of the farm I have been working on. The students have been wanting to create an outdoor classroom for some time and that is a project we are going to pursue this year.

The farm after a few weeks.

After a few weeks of whacking down huge weeds, tilling and re-tilling the ground, and sweating a whole lot this is the result.  Still rough, but able to plant for a late fall harvest.

Currently the farm is growing:

-Spring Lettuce Mix

-Tomatoes (only a few because of a late start and transplant shock)

-Spinach

-Turnips

-Sugar Snap Peas

-Carrots

The first harvest should be somewhere around the beginning of December just in time for the students to have some delicious and healthy lettuce to get them through their final exams for the semester.

Well back to the farm.

-Farmer Justin

About ideadonnafarm

I am the resident farmer for IDEA Public Schools in Donna, Texas. I, along with the students, tend an acre right on the school grounds. The things I grow go straight to the students plate, fresh and healthy. This blog is about the projects, ideas (pun), and all around happenings on the IDEA Donna farm. If you live in the area and want to help out, feel free to email me at justin.tuley@ideapublicschools.org.
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