Spartan Garden

The Healthy Youth Program partnered with Corvallis High School (CHS) to develop the Spartan Garden, which serves as a place-based outdoor learning resource for the school. In the Spartan Garden, students of all ability levels learn where their food comes from and the value of eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Spartan Garden produce is used for healthy snacks during lunch and break, in the school cafeteria, and is given to any students helping to maintain the garden. Our Chefs in the Garden summer day camps help keep the Spartan Garden vibrant during the summer, and any excess produce is donated to area food banks.  

The Spartan Urban Farm Fellowship is an after school program at the Spartan Garden for CHS students interested in a deeper exploration of growing food and understanding the connection between a healthy environment and a healthy lifestyle.  Visit the sections below to learn more about the Spartan Garden!

Spartan Urban Farm Fellowship

Urban Farm Summer Internship:

  • The application process for 2016 Urban Farm summer interns is now closed.  We look forward to working with our fantastic crew of interns this summer!

 

Beginning in fall of 2014, with the implementation of the Spartan Urban Farm Fellowship, the Spartan Garden began the transition to an urban farm. Several students, interested in learning about growing and eating sustainable foods, community service, and leadership, applied for and were selected as Spartan Urban Farm Fellows.  These students grow food to be eaten by CHS students at lunch, to donate to area food banks, and to sell at the Lincoln Farmers Market (2015) or through Community Supported Agriculture memberships (2016, more info coming soon!). 

The goals of the urban farm project are to:

  • Provide tools for students to learn holistic life-skills and lead a healthy lifestyle;
  • Educate students about sustainable agricultural practices through hands-on experience;
  • Increase students’ community involvement;
  • Provide students with an opportunity to gain leadership, business, entrepreneurial and career-related skills through a Farmers Market model.

To date, students have learned about seasonal changes on a farm, when to harvest, the importance of managing healthy soil for healthy plants and people, how to build compost, and crop rotation and planning. The farm fellows then put their learning into practice by deciding what to grow in the winter. Cold-hardy overwintering crops like garlic, onions, shallots, kale, and broccoli were planted, along with various types of cover crops, which are intended to benefit the soil.

The farm fellows also performed several harvests of late-summer and fall produce for the CHS cafeteria, the Lincoln Farmers Market, the South Corvallis Food Bank, and to take home for personal use.

Classroom Connections

The Spartan Garden provides an easily accessible outdoor learning resource, where classroom connections can be made to multiple disciplines. The Healthy Youth Program’s garden educators work with CHS students and teachers to make these connections. Below is a list of some of the CHS student projects in the garden:

  • Kevin Skillings' woodworking students built the vegetable washing sinks and two of the main garden sheds;
  • Brian Wake's horticulture students participated in the development of the Spartan Garden by creating beds, weeding, mulching, and planting.  They experimented with cover crops, learned about soil properties, and tested growing media with visits from a Healthy Youth Program garden educator;
  • Britten Clark-Huyck's Botany students continue to explore cover crops and soil properties in the garden, as well as growing plant starts;
  • Julia Lont's art student designed and constructed the "Spartan Garden" sign - the carrot that hangs over the entrance;
  • Julia Lont's art classes used pumpkins and other garden produce to create a still life art project;
  • Julie Williams' sustainability classes have done various projects in the garden including using spinach, beets, strawberries, and pumpkins from the garden to make delicious Pumpkin Pie, Cucumber-Pear, and It’s Easy Being Green smoothies and juices to share with the rest of CHS during morning break;
  • Kristen Hackethorn's senior foods students harvested fresh produce to make a capresse salad, and tasted three dishes prepared from different squash varieties grown in the garden; 
  • Christa Schmeder's ceramics students created hand-crafted tiles used to cover the cooking tables at the garden;
  • Amy Knoke's world literature students participated in a service learning project in the garden;
  • English Language Development students learned about gardening as a hobby and working outdoors as a career choice.

Career-Related Learning 

The Spartan Garden also provides students with opportunities for Service Learning, to fulfill their Career Shadow Experience and Extended Application requirements, and to earn credit for Internships and Structured Work Experience. Please contact the Healthy Youth Program if you are interested in incorporating the Spartan Garden into any of your required career-related learning experiences at CHS!

Background

Many adolescents have developed unhealthy eating habits and eat few or no fruits and vegetables on an average school day. According to the Oregon Department of Human Services, only 18% of 11th graders in Oregon consumed the recommended 5+ servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Our children and adolescents are constantly exposed to fast-food commercials, snack and soda vending machines, and other unhealthy calorie-rich snack foods.

We need to find a way to teach our adolescents to make food choices that will nurture their bodies and help them stay healthy. There is no quick-fix for unhealthy eating habits, including the overconsumption of calories, but through a school garden we might get adolescents into another kind of relationship with food by teaching them where their food comes from, the value of eating healthy foods, how to respect and take care of their environment, and the nurturing effects of preparing and eating a meal together with families and friends at the table. In addition, studies have found positive impacts of school gardens on eating and exercise behaviors as well as improved academic performance and attitudes towards learning.

To address this, the Linus Pauling Institute's Healthy Youth Program partnered with Corvallis High School (CHS) to develop a school garden that will be maintained by the high school students throughout the school year. The garden is located on an empty lot south of the football field and the track.

Spartan Garden sign    Spartan Garden

Accessibility for Everyone

Corvallis High School serves as the magnet school for all life skills students in the Corvallis School District. Construction of a paved area for accessible raised table beds was accomplished through volunteers of the 2012 OSU Alumni Association’s Community Day of Service.

day of service photo 1  day of service photo 2  day of service photo 3

More than 45 volunteers showed up for the 2012 OSU Alumni Association's Community Day of Service project at the Spartan Garden!