By Jennie Lewis, Grants Committee Chair


The Folsom Garden Club awarded $7,623 in Grants in November 2017 (last budget year). The Grants Committee has now received final reports on the grant funded projects.

The Golden Valley Orchard School was one of those grant funded projects. The school was awarded $780 to provide scholarships for seven third grade students and one parent chaperone, who reside in Folsom, which allowed them to attend a May 2018 trip to Full Belly Farm Camp. The students camp out overnight and experience organic gardening and farming practices first hand at the working organic farm in the Capay Valley.

In preparation for the trip, the entire class had weekly activities in their small raised-bed vegetable garden. During these sessions, they learned about plants and their requirements. They then wrote artifacts that reflected the student’s gardening learning this year and the unanswered questions about gardening and farming they planned to resolve at the camp.

One of the questions outlined in the sample student letter is “How many piglets can a pig have in one birth?”

On the trip, the students received a tour of the 400 acre organic farm. The students learned about destructive and beneficial insects as well as the no-till method and cover cropping to help the fallow fields rejuvenate. They were amazed that compost did not smell when they were introduced to a 12-foot pile of “black gold”. They also picked crops and learned to use asparagus knives to harvest from the underground crown.

The children were so excited to be able to feed chickens and baby lambs as well as collect eggs. They also saw cows being milked and pigs in their pen. One of the sows was pregnant!

By the way, the pig delivered 14 perfect piglets the day after the photo with the students was taken (Mother’s Day!).

Ms. Rhoda Cortez, Third Grade Teacher at Golden Valley Orchard School said, “The parents, children and I are so thankful for the FGC’s support. The children were able to experience gardening and farming practices in a way that would not be possible in the classroom.”

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