Our wish for this project is to become a sustainable garden: a complete closed system from soil to plants and back to soil again, with our only inputs water and phosphorus. We want to be an exemplar of how school gardens can reduce waste and minimize water usage. Recycling food scraps and non-edible vegetable matter is important in reducing garbage production and producing soil, and we plan to streamline our cycle of production, transport, and breakdown into compost. California is in a drought and we need to reduce water consumption; native plants have much lower water usage and encourage a healthy ecosystem with native insects. Vegetables from drier areas, such as Mexico, also lower water usage.
Our project is to take action to make our garden more sustainable. One step is water usage: native plants, along with vegetables indigenous to our region and to Mexico, are an important step in water reduction. We will be propagating native plants in our small native garden to reduce water usage and encourage native insects, as well as educating through detailed labels from Theodore Payne (native plant non-profit), which we will laminate. We will also plant more plants from Mexico, which are lower water use and will encourage vegetable consumption in our largely Hispanic population. We will also be streamlining our production, transport, and breakdown of food scraps and non-edible vegetation to demonstrate the cycle of soil to plant to soil again.