The Spartan Garden: Soil to Seed to Plate


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The Healthy Youth Program at the Linus Pauling Institute has 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. Students have access to food grown in the garden in a variety of ways and learn to understand the important link between a healthy environment and a healthy lifestyle.

Now Growing!

As of fall 2013, the Spartan Garden has successfully had two full growing seasons, in which healthy vegetables and fruits were used by students at CHS for healthy snacks during lunch and break, in the school cafeteria, during our Chefs in the Garden summer camp, and during our Fresh Grown Cooking for Families program. Our extra produce has supplied our other cooking programs with youth and families, and has even been donated to area food banks. In October, Sustainability students harvested the last of the summer crops, and Horticulture students planted a cover crop experiment to enrich the soil for the spring and summer growing season. In late November Horticulture students put the garden to rest for the winter by adding compost and covering the garden with wood chips and leaves. Spartan Garden club members have even kept the garden going throughout the cold and rainy days, as they planted onions, broccoli, kale, mustard, Swiss chard, spinach, and flower bulbs for spring!

The Spartan Garden as a Learning Resource

The Spartan Garden provides an easily accessible outdoor learning resource, where connections can be made to multiple disciplines.

Students from a wide variety of subject areas are utilizing Spartan Garden. In addition to the Horticulture classes, this school year, Julia Lont’s art classes used pumpkins and other garden produce to create a still life art project. Sustainability students used 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. Several students harvested yacon, mashua, and oca, which are South American tuberous crops that were grown as an experiment. Those students will come to the lab at the Linus Pauling Institute and analyze those crops for vitamin C content and determine their amino acid composition. This is an exciting project, as there is little research on the nutrient value of these crops, and those students will get to work with an OSU scientist in a lab setting!

Read more about how the Spartan Garden is being integrated into classes at CHS.

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.

Learn more about the background behind this project.

Healthy Youth Program Newsletter

Read our latest newsletter about current programs at the Healthy Youth Program.

For more information, or to help in the garden, please contact

Rebecca Fallihee, Healthy Youth Program Garden Educator
rebecca.fallihee@oregonstate.edu, 541-737-8014.

Candace Russo, Garden Manager
candace.russo@oregonstate.edu, 541-737-8014.

Sponsors

Tim and Starleen Wood Foundation
Juan Young Trust














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planting lettuce

Students in class


paved area in the Spartan Garden

kiosk at the Spartan Garden plant