In 2020, South Oceanside Elementary received the coveted Sage Garden Grant! As a result we offer instruction in our school garden for every student each week. Ecology and plant science are taught by Garden Instructor, Shawna Baruh and our culinary teacher is renowned chef and winner of Food Networks "Chopped" Chef Eliza Martin!
Did you know that South Oceanside School is home to 4 distinctive gardens?
Yes, over the years we have developed four areas to help student learn concepts relating to stewardship, nutrition and scientific discovery. Here's a brief summary of what we offer our students:
- A California Native Garden is located on the Kindergarten Playground. The centerpiece plant is the Coastal Live Oak Tree. The kindergarten yard is sprinkled with other natives and have signs to identify them.
- A fruit orchard is located behind the M-Building and to the west of the tennis courts. There are stone fruit trees, citrus, and fruiting vines. The orchard will have apricot, blueberries, Fuji apple, Anna apple, plum, pluot, Asian pear, cherimoya, pineapple guava, aprium, lemon , lime, navel and valencia orange, kumquat, tangerine, mandarin, Hardy kiwis, grapes, and thornless berries. We are in the process of establishing irrigation. The goal for the orchard is: introduce students to healthy and nutritious snack choices and understand where and how their food grows. Future produce may provide students with nutritious snacks for morning or lunch recess. Classes may visit the orchard for teaching nutrition lessons, and science concepts.
- The gardens between the kindergarten area have 5 vegetable boxes. One box is dedicated to herbs. The rest are dedicated to seasonal vegetables. We have a school-size worm box that helps decompose vegetable and plant waste which is reused in the gardens.
- A butterfly garden is located along the eastern fence. This is planted with passion fruit vines that host the Fritillary butterfly; fennel which hosts the Swallowtail butterfly; and milkweed which is the host plant for the Monarch butterfly.
- There is a greenhouse which will be used to house blooming tropicals and starter plants, propagations, and seedlings. Irrigation needs to be established in that area.
The garden is open to all students and teachers during school hours. Lessons in science, nutrition, math, reading and art have been taught in the garden.
Once a week there is a 40 minute garden rotation where each teacher may send two students from their class for gardening with a San Diego Certified Master Gardener. During this rotation, students from all grade levels meet to taste, plant, compost, and make discoveries in the garden.
Thank you for your interest in our school gardens. The gardens serve about 600 students at South Oceanside Elementary School.