CV High School Farm project -
We are close to harvest time!
Cooler weather is finally here and fall harvests of deeply hued lettuces, holiday colored bell peppers of gold and red, and crunchy green beans are underway. Prickly but delicious artichokes are just days away from harvest too.
But there is something extra that is generating excitement for us and that is HH's new relationship with Coachella Valley High School - or more specifically, Coachella Valley High School's small farm.
CVHS is the oldest high school in the valley, founded in February, 1901!! This school has had an agricultural focus since its inception, but sadly the school's two acre farm had given way to weeds and gophers for the better part of the last three decades. Not a pretty nor inspiring site for farmers-in-the-making.
So, inspiration gave way to perspiration, and with seed funding (pun intended) from the Palm Springs Mayor's grant and others, Hidden Harvest rolled up its sleeves. We hired a farming consultant to get us started, called on the expertise of CVHS alumnus like Adrian Zendejas of Ocean Mist Farms and after a hot summer of hard labor by Francisco Linares, HH's main man and his many helpers, the old farm was new again. New irrigation, new valves, new topsoil and that historic ground was ready to do what it was meant to do - grow healthy food for local people.
With the help of the agriculture students at CVHS we have planted broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and carrots. Generous donations of carrot seeds and carrot expertise from Grimmway Farms along with donated broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage plant starts from Headstart Nursery have turned this dream into a real farm.
While students will be involved throughout, HH crews will do the majority of the harvesting. 100% of the produce grown will be added to our coolers - keeping company with gleaned produce and packing house donations - to feed the hungry in our community.
Hidden Harvest will continue our usual activities - we've just added farming to our repertoire. It is very rewarding to think that we are part of "growing" new farmers for the Coachella Valley's future.
Stay tuned for more updates...