• Rain Makes Gardens Grow At Las Colinas Middle School - Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at

  • Recent winter rains have given a boost to the Beautification/Life Lab garden and landscaping student program at Las Colinas Middle School in Camarillo.

    "With the wonderful rain we've been having, our school has never looked so beautiful," says Dianne Polen, Las Colinas Beautification/Life Lab advisor. The school has one of the most committed green programs in the county. Students in summer school planted lettuce, radishes, bell peppers and carrots so when students returned in fall, vegetables were already growing. "A garden gives students the opportunity to try varieties of vegetables that they would not eat otherwise," says Polen. "The gardens are teaching students quite a bit about nutrition and eating healthy."

    Summer vegetables were harvested at the school in October and replaced with Brussels sprouts, spinach, celery, sugar snap peas, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and onions. The school features seven container gardens and an additional large garden area with room for students in wheelchairs to participate in the gardening experience.

    "Students are now weeding the school flower beds and planting color," says Polen. "We're also attempting to grow grass between two portable classrooms, an area that has been nothing but dirt and mud for several years."

    Agromin, a local soil manufacturer and the green materials recycler for communities throughout Ventura County and Southern California, provided soil for the gardens and landscapes. "We always enjoy helping students with their garden projects," says Bill Camarillo, Agromin CEO. "Teachers can then inject the green materials recycling story into their curriculum. Kids learn about the sustainability benefits of gardening--taking the green materials from the garden, composting them and then placing the resulting soil products back into the garden from which new plants grow. Las Colinas students are learning important environmental lessons as they grow and harvest their gardens."

    For more information about green materials recycling, go to www.agromin.com.

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