photo provided by JEANNIE CHUFO

The community garden at Canyon Crest Academy (CCA) is in bloom again with plants such as heirloom tomatoes, basil, oregano, broccoli, and raspberry bushes sprouting from the vegetable boxes constructed with love by the volunteers and CCA students that work to keep the garden alive and beautiful.

What started as an Eagle Scout Project quickly became a passion for CCA’s Nest Business class and Jeannie Chufo, a CCA teacher. Together they worked to add life to the garden. Trey Hahn, the garden manager of the class began to use the garden as a way to relieve stress after class. “After starting to plant and set up irrigation, he had five more devoted students working with him in the garden nearly every day,” explained Jeannie. Every Friday the team would chop up vegetables from the garden and make a salad from their harvest to celebrate their hard work.

This year the garden has hosted classes relating to gardening, organic eating, and cooking. Jeff Bishop and Jamie Accetta from Sustainable Solutions lead a class in the past, informing students how to make a “lasagna garden” which is made by layering organic material such as grass clippings and food on top of existing soil. Alison Caldwell taught a class called Organic 101 which focused on the benefits of an organic diet. The final class will be held this summer on June 4 and will be led by Red Oven Pizza Owner and Chef Justin Burlingame. Justin will lead a class on making pizza from scratch.

Jeannie hopes the garden will continue to grow. She plans on implementing a designated class for the garden “so that students throughout the year can reconnect with their food,” she expressed.

Students and volunteers looking to assist with the garden can help with water management or gardening. “If any community members have expertise about water management skills and are willing to donate their time and knowledge we would welcome it,” said Jeannie.