What better way to use a patch of vacant ground on campus than turn it into a productive community garden? Brett Stevenson, Assistant Principal of Hillsdale High School and his team, broke ground on the long awaited garden project in April 2022 and have since transformed the space beyond recognition.
The generosity of the Hillsdale community has been the driving force behind the project. Donations raised through Hillsdale's Peace Pantry have funded the initial building of the garden and its subsequent upkeep. The main purpose of the garden is to provide additional produce for the Hillsdale Peace Pantry, our emergency food drive-thru that serves around 130 school families every week. Now we can add organic fruits and vegetables harvested from our very own garden to the food boxes.
One of the other goals of the garden is to create a space for students, staff and community members to gather and have a greater sense of connection. The garden brings together volunteers of all ages and backgrounds, including students, faculty, parents, local businesses, alumni families and San Mateo County Master Gardeners who continue to support us with their valuable knowledge and expertise.
Students from the Empowerment Through Action program meeting in our community garden.
volunteers enjoying refreshments together in the newly created seating area.
The garden has a total of 19 raised planter beds and through the growing season they are abundant with beans, tomatillos, tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, peppers, onions and basil. The citrus grove and fruit trees are newly planted so will take some time to establish before we get our first crop. At the beginning of the year we develop our planting calendar, mindful of how we can get the most out of our garden throughout the seasons.
One of our weekly harvest boxes loaded with freshly picked herbs, fruit and vegetables.
Inspiring a love of gardening is a way to encourage healthy minds, healthy bodies and a healthy planet. Gardening cultivates a growth mindset and is a way to nurture a sense of curiosity in the natural world. Through the Hillsdale Community Garden there's an opportunity for all involved to experience the wonder and satisfaction of growing plants for food.