The Palisadian-Post asked a couple of our junior reporters what their perfect garden would look like. Find out more about the junior reporter program by emailing Managing Editor Sarah Shmerling at email@example.com.
My Perfect Garden
By AUDREY YAEL SMITH | Junior Reporter
If I had a garden, I would grow colorful flowers and also a variety of organic fruits and vegetables. There would be an arched wood bridge over a pond, and in the pond, there would be turtles and koi. There would also be a rock waterfall.
In the center of the garden, I’d have a gazebo. In the gazebo, I’d keep an easel, canvases and art supplies so that I could sketch or paint pictures of the garden.
Around the gazebo, I’d have strawberry, raspberry and green bean plants. I would also have a mango tree and a big fig tree that would be good for climbing.
At the top of the fig tree would be a wooden treehouse. I’d have books, pillows and blankets there. That would be my favorite reading spot.
There would be a zip-line from the treehouse down to the herb garden. There, I’d grow basil, mint and rosemary. I like to use fresh herbs whenever I cook.
During the fall, I would have a pumpkin patch and invite over all my friends. I would use some of the pumpkins to make a delicious pumpkin pie!
I love being outdoors and hope to someday have a garden like this!
By SOPHIA VOURAKIS | Junior Reporter
Last summer, I went to Fairview Gardens in Goleta, California. My aunt was planning a trip to the Czech Republic to teach the people about urban farming and her project was modeled after Fairview Gardens, an organic urban farm.
When we arrived it was about 90 degrees, and ash flakes peppered the sky from a nearby fire. In the haze, we met Lacy Baldiviez, the farm’s executive director, and chatted on bales of hay in the shade of a huge mulberry tree.
Fairview Gardens started in the 1890s and was handed down through generations until the final farmer did not want to farm anymore. It was taken over by hippies in the 1970s. They eventually gave the farm to the city of Santa Barbara, which has established rules, including that Fairview Gardens must remain a farm and cannot be developed, and no animals can be raised for slaughter.
The farm is supported mostly by the community through fundraisers, selling harvested food to restaurants, a summer farm camp and honor system store. As funding comes in, Baldiviez plans to purchase more animals like sheep and is starting a farmer training program.
Baldiviez showed me how Fairview Gardens collects food waste to make compost with worms and compost tea, which is a boiled down liquid compost. The liquid version is easier to spread and better for plants because the heat activates good bacteria, which acts like a medicine. It can naturally protect plants from disease and parasites. Compost tea is a good option also because Fairview Gardens is a dry farm, meaning it does not use much water.
We took a tour of the countless varieties of vegetables, including onions, celery and kale, fruits such as figs, strawberries and pumpkins, and a soon-to-be corn maze. We met a white, fluffy chicken named Elsa in the coop and learned that the farm’s 12 hens each lay different colored eggs.
If I had a farm, it would be just like Fairview Gardens. What if Pacific Palisades had a giant mulberry tree, offering shade and fruit? What if we had a public garden or community compost bin?
Well, as the saying goes, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
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