Growing plants, knowledge at Port Angeles High School garden

Club to sell vegetable starts as fundraiser; cash accepted Saturday

Port Angeles High School junior Jamie Robinson is one of many students helping prepare the school’s community garden for a plant sale on Saturday. All proceeds will be dedicated to the school’s garden program. (Paula Hunt/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Angeles High School junior Jamie Robinson is one of many students helping prepare the school’s community garden for a plant sale on Saturday. All proceeds will be dedicated to the school’s garden program. (Paula Hunt/Peninsula Daily News)

PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles High School junior Jamie Robinson can be found digging, pulling weeds, planting, watering and doing just about any task that’s needed most days of the week at the community garden on campus.

Robinson likes being out in the fresh air and can imagine some kind of career in agriculture. She already works part time at Graystone Farm Flowers and has lined up a summer job at Olympic Roots Farm.

On Saturday, Robinson and other students from the Port Angeles High School Garden Club will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the Port Angeles High School Community Garden Plant Sale to sell the vegetable starts and plants they’ve grown in the garden’s greenhouse.

Buyers will find vegetable starts, including corn, lettuce, pumpkins, tomatoes, sunflowers, cabbage, kale, snap peas, summer squash, onions, as well as strawberry and raspberry plants. Cash only will be accepted.

To get there, travel on East Park Avenue and turn south onto South Peabody Street, then turn right onto the high school service road (about 175 yards). The garden is located to the east of the gym. Visitors are asked to use the upper parking lot.

The garden club maintains the plot, which is used by the Native Studies program, environment science classes and other student groups — anyone, including community members, is welcome to visit. (And hopefully pull a weed or two).

Environment science teacher Adam Logan oversees the garden and garden club. Intended as an outdoor classroom, the garden serves a variety of functions.

“Kids come here for a variety of reasons,” Logan said. “Maybe they’re part of the club, maybe they’ve had long day of school and they just want to be outside.”

Shirlene Fitzwater, who was one of the grant writers for the greenhouse, worked with Clallam County Extension farm to school coordinator Amelia Depue to create lessons for her 11th grade math applications class that incorporated the garden.

“How do you start a business? How could you grow plants as a business?” Fitzwater said. “We’ve got the seeds, we grow the plants and now we’re able to sell them. How do you come up with a price?”

Fitzwater is one of many teachers in the Port Angeles and Crescent school districts Depue has assisted in integrating gardening and agricultural into the curriculum.

“It’s really about the age level, the needs of the school and what we have access to,” said Depue, whose position is funded through the USDA’s SNAP-ED program.

That could mean helping a school start a compost pile or teaching students about good nutrition by showing them how to grow and prepare vegetables.

All of Saturday’s revenue will go directly toward supporting the garden, which does not receive funding from the district.

Last year’s sale raised $500. This year’s goal is to double that amount, said Shawne Johnson, a teacher at Seaview Academy who has been involved with the garden from its beginning in 2018.

“We try to cover the cost of amendments and soil,” Johnson said. “WSU is helping out, but this has to be a community effort.”

Donations and volunteers have been essential to continuing the garden program, although they haven’t returned to pre-pandemic levels.

“We need gloves for kids and adults, a wheelbarrow, trowels, hoses,” Depue said. “Used is fine.”

More assistance would not just sustain the garden, Depue, Logan and Johnson all said, but help grow the kinds of programs that it can support — from CTE classes to supplying the district with fresh food — and the number of students who can benefit from it.

Senior Josiah Neubert, for example, was new to gardening and all things related to it — planting, weeding, watering. He had the idea that you planted seeds and that was it when he began working in the garden this year.

“I thought it was going to be easy, but it’s really hard,” Neubert said. “But you see the progress, so it’s actually kind of fun.”

________

Reporter Paula Hunt can be reached at paula.hunt@soundpublishing.com.

More in Entertainment

Rebecca Roudman, right, and Colin Williams of the San Francisco Bay area-based Renegade Orchestra take the stage at Field Arts & Events Hall, a Saturday venue of the Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Hitting the right notes

Rebecca Roudman, right, and Colin Williams of the San Francisco Bay area-based… Continue reading

This year's Rhododendron Festival queen Paige Govia and princess Rosie Schmucker wave to the Sequim Irrigation Festival Grand Parade crowd on May 11. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Irrigation Festival names its Grand Parade winners

Sequim Irrigation Festival organizers announced the winners of the Grand… Continue reading

Flower Garden Frizzle by Debra Olson will be part of the Colors of Nature exhibit at Field Arts and Events Hall in Port Angeles.
Reception set for Colors of Nature art exhibit

There will be a reception at 5 p.m. Tuesday… Continue reading

Port Angeles Food Bank to host bar crawl fundraiser

The Port Angeles Food Bank will sponsor Barkour, its… Continue reading

Juan de Fuca Festival kicks off weekend events

The Juan de Fuca Festival and Hood Canal Fjord Fest highlight the… Continue reading

Kim Trenerry, left, and Jason Mogi, who make up the Port Angeles-based duo Deadwood Revival, shown Tuesday at the New Moon Craft Tavern in Port Angeles, will perform at this weekend’s Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Juan de Fuca Festival spreads out this weekend

Street fair, five stages host performers, vendors

Juan de Fuca Festival 2024 schedule

Information can be found at JFFA.org and on the Juan de Fuca… Continue reading

Martin Vanners, a Dutch artist, will come to Port Townsend to give a free illustrated talk on pinhole photography. (Martin Vanners)
Free pinhole photography talk Monday

Artist Martin Vanners felt something was missing — from… Continue reading

Storytelling event set Friday at Studio Bob

Meredith Vincent will host Out Loud Story Slam at… Continue reading

The Peninsula Men’s Gospel Singers will perform a benefit concert on Sunday.
Three charities to benefit from gospel concert

Peninsula Men’s Gospel Singers will perform for a benefit… Continue reading

Cellist to perform concerts in Port Angeles, Forks

Cellist Ian Maksin will perform concerts in Port Angeles… Continue reading

Auditions set for children’s theater

The Port Angeles Children’s Theater will audition for its… Continue reading