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With funds from Farms of Tuolumne County Farm and Ranch tour FOTC  provided a grant to Mother Lode Adventist Junior Academy Garden Project. Here is an update of that project from the coordinator Jessica Schultz.

We wanted to be done in June, but things are dragging out further than our deadline. We were able to have the leak in the retaining wall assessed. We found that the leak was grey water in a sewer line that belongs to the trailer park above us and that was why algae was growing there (GROSS!). Jim Grossman worked on fixing the leak. Grades 9/10 helped Jim dig that out. He patched it with cement. It still has a bit of seepage, but is much less. Because it doesn’t belong to us, I do not know how long and even if they will fix it. 

 I had asked if the garden boxes could be built in April. Unfortunately the builder rescheduled for May but was not able to accommodate. However, Ken Miller has acquired the wood for the boxes from a local tree and planed it himself. This week he is hoping to bring it down and assemble it with my son. I took the liberty to of purchasing 40-50 strawberry plants for the old garden beds, since I wanted the students to enjoy the strawberries this year. About 20 students helped me plant the strawberries in May. The younger ones were so excited(see the picture below)! Unfortunately, while I was away in Oregon the above ground oscillating sprinkler system got stuck and only half the beds got watered (so I lost over half the strawberries). Good news the ones that are still alive are sending out multiple shoots, so we can replant much of what we lost with the students this fall. We can also purchase more plants. I am having to be flexible with those who are willing to give me their time and services. I do have faith that we will have strawberries on campus this fall, we will have nearly doubled our garden size with the new garden beds, and we will have still have funds to keep our garden thriving. Some ideas I have for expanding the area are adding a picnic table for a potting bench and garden classroom activity area where we can do observations, artwork, and potting projects. I would also like to add a composting bin. We appreciate your funds so much. They were generous and we are happy to develop a better garden here at MLAJA!

 We will send another update when we get the project to completion.

 -Jessica Schultz