Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Farming Dragons

Dragon Farm (the main hub of the initiative) is a fully-operational 1-acre farm that is part of the South Valley Academy Charter School.  It uses an experiential, service learning curriculum, with agriculture as a mechanism to foster community participation.  The farm makes academic issues tangible and creates a rich learning environment that integrates students with the food environment in a unique way.  

On my first visit to the SVA, the students gave me a tour of Dragon Farm.  What I discovered was not dragons, but a flourishing agricultural venture that currently produces chili peppers, several varieties of lettuce, two varieties of eggplant, watermelons, lemon cucumbers, tomatoes, Texas Onions (a sweeter variety), peaches, various berries, and a few other crops.  The school cafeteria includes what the farm produces in the daily menu as part of a student social enterprise.  It is the only project of its sort in New Mexico.

 The Farm

 Josh, Ralph and the pepper plants

Richard Brandt, teacher/leader of the program
Looks like you Josh caught himself a Texas Onion.
 Eggplant parmesan anyone?
 Are these chilies spicy enough for your salsa?

 And for dessert.....watermelon.


  1. We worked on the Dia de Los Muertos/Farmers Protection Act float for about almost three weeks, basically sketching ideas and then painting. It was an amazing new experience to also be able to walk in the parade.
    -Perla Chavez SVA Student

  2. The whole thing with the pictures and their description below is pretty cool!!!